Because we are very smart people, my husband and I have made good friends with some Texans who make killer BBQ. Around noon on Saturday, she texted and asked if there was any way I could help them at a venue for the afternoon, and I said I would be happy to.
She failed to mention that the event was a state gymnastics meet. When I walked into the building, I had a flashback to nine torturous weeks in a high school gymnastics class, in which all the other girls were rounding off and doing back hand springs, while I labored every day trying to pull off a cartwheel.
Why on earth would someone purposefully hurl her body upside down?
Thankfully, on Saturday I only had to run the cash register at the BBQ kitchen.
In the last hour of working, the stands right in front of us filled up with parents, and we watched girls mount the medal platform to receive awards. The event center was a mad house, with older girls warming up on one side, families milling about, and girls cheering for each other.
Then, I heard a girl on the opposite end of the building start singing the national anthem through a microphone, and the most amazing thing happened.
Instantly, the entire room quieted. The families and athletes in front of us swiveled, without any need for prompting. With hands over hearts, everyone was dead still while the anthem was sung. When the song was finished, there was great applause and then a return to busy and noisy.
This was most impressive, and I was moved by the respect shown the flag.
It was obvious that, in the gymnastics world, this respect for the anthem is part of the training. The girls must have it drilled in to them that when the flag is hailed, they are to show immediate respect.
If we could bring a similar discipline into our walk with the Lord, wouldn’t it be stunning?
Picture this –we’re going about our normal activity, busy and sometimes hectic. Then something happens to call our attention to the Lord, and for just a moment we stop everything and pay him full honor.
Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy. (Psalm 99:5 NIV)
It would be strikingly obvious to everyone that giving salute to the Lord is an expectation, in the culture we’ve made ourselves a part of, evidence of a fearful reverence that precedes all activity.
No cartwheels required. We just have to be able to bend at the knees.