And here is the truth of it, whenever you're not in the zone you always end up next to someone who is. And you can tell they're in the zone even before the last line of the first verse. How? Their arms. You see, people's arms are what I call 'the zonemeter'. They measure how much people are in the zone during worship (unless you're like me and from the waist up you look like you're doing the River Dance). Usually people's arms start by their side at the beginning, or at most are bent at the elbows to ninety degrees so they look like they're shaking hands with Jesus. And by the chorus most people's arms have got to head height (I'm having a limp handshake with Jesus by this point). Well, if a person is in the zone they start with their hand at head height. By the chorus their hand is as high as they can get it and they're probably hacking at the air. This is called karate chopping for Jesus.
So, whenever I'm not in the zone, I always get stuck next to this guy. I look to the side and see him and I'm thinking, "My day wasn't going great as it is, and now I'm stuck next to Jackie Chan."
In all honesty, I see Jackie Chan here and I feel kind of annoyed, because I'm not in the zone and he is. And I start to make excuses. At this point I turn a bit ugly. I think things like, "The band is really not doing well today. I mean my six year old niece could play better than them." It's an odd thing to think. I don't have niece, for a start. Or I think, "That person is singing off key. Tone-deaf girl is really putting me off my game," or "the PA team need some prayer. That's the only thing that can help them right now."
But the card I always end up playing (especially when the band is rocking, the PA team is doing good and tone-deaf girl is away) is the hypocrite card. I think to myself, I'm not in the mood and if I was to sing properly, I'd be a hypocrite. I'd be a fake.
The truth is, this doesn't wash. God should be worshipped whether I'm in the mood or not. And I don't have to be a fake about it either.
When David begins in Psalm 13 and 22, I wouldn't exactly say he was in the zone. He is crying out, asking why God isn't there with him. He's not lying and pretending everything is okay. He's keeping it real. Sometimes we forgot that worship is about being real with God. We hide our problems hoping they'll go away and God won't notice (didn't work for Adam and Eve). But God does want to hear when we're not in the zone.
What is even more encouraging is that when David doesn't start out in the zone, by the end he is giving it his all.
- Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan?
- What strange excuses do you make?
- What do you do when you're in the zone?
Image by adonis hunter / ahptical via Flickr