Matt Chandler at The Village referenced a funny story where at the Rose Bowl in ’05 a USC cheerleader got confused and celebrated a touchback (her team being scored on in their endzone). There is some question however as to whether it is true.
In either event I thought it was appropriate analogy. Being so out of sync with your team that you are celebrating the complete opposite thing. Are you not in step with your church family? Is your church watching for what you think is the wrong outcome? The wrong benchmarks? Does it feel like they waiting for another team to score? Are they watching the same game you are? Is it even the same sport?
I have times with the group I work with where I am jumping up and down on the sidelines and look over and my team has put their pom-poms away. Other times I am startled when they roar with approval on what looks to me like a score for the other team.
Are we even watching the same game? I’m at one of those times where I am so out of whack with them that I can’t even see what they are seeing. I am lost and don’t know where to go or what to do.
Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Don’t cast me away from your presence and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore onto me the joy of my salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.
Psalm 51: 10 – 12
It takes humility to stop and realize how far out ahead (or behind) you are from the group you are supposed to be leading. Pride makes it difficult to return to God’s throne and ask forgiveness – to search and find those places where you have buried your bitterness and anger. For it is not my church that I need to be in sync with but God alone.
Then it takes time to find the Master’s rhythm again. It feels like you just had it but to be this far out of whack you must not have been listening to it for some time now. It’s like discovering that you have been following the wrong directions for more than an hour and you now have to turn around and go back to the beginning.
It takes patience to wait for the Master’s rhythm to come back, the familiar beat of the His heart. I want it to be right where I want it to be so I can get going but He won’t come and line up behind me.
It is me who must line up behind Him. It is His lead that I follow and His game that I play. But it still burns to stop and wait for Him. Every muscle in my body resists it. It looks for all the world like it isn’t working; none of it. It looks like all of it is a waste of time.
The biggest step of faith in this is the step back to square zero; we can’t even claim to be on square one.