From my 2013 Journal. I sprained my pinkie finger this week and had to tape it to the next finger to keep it stable and from feeling shooting pain anytime I bumped it. As I stood in church yesterday during a clapping song, I was conscious of how I had to restrict my hand motions in order to compensate.
All I could think about was what people would think if I just stood there and didn’t participate. Later I began to reflect:
#1 Why do I even think people are looking at me?
#2 If they are looking, are they judging me?
#3 Do they even care? Do I?
First of all, I suspect most people are doing the same thing I am—thinking more about themselves and what others are thinking of them if they act a certain way. And, yes, I think they’re judging—because I do it—judge people for their actions, that is. But so what if they judge or not? If they care or not?
More than feeling self-conscious, however, I think about my motive to set a good example. If I don’t clap, am I giving someone else permission not to participate in group worship? Do I hear a “should” in there somewhere? I want people to know why I’m not clapping. I can’t just stand there and not do it! Why not?
Claire Fontaine in Have Mother, Will Travel says,
Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind, don’t matter.
How profound! It’s past time to let this one go. My worship must be God-centered rather than others-focused.