Bob and Weave

Musings of an impostor. Welcome to the masquerade.

What Children Teach Us, Part I: Carefree

Posted by flyingbk on 11/02/2016

A few months ago, I visited Brooklyn at the abode of a couple with whom I’m very close. They have a 3-year-old daughter who is an absolute joy to be around, and I’m not just saying that because she once scurried the full width of a 20-person dinner table just to give me a hug. (She even once told her mom “I love Uncle Bob,” punctuated with a happy sigh. No, seriously. I’m not making that up.) We finished our scrumptious pizza dinner, and were just lounging around in the living room. The little girl entertained herself by watching one of those Youtube shows in which these girls play with Barbie dolls. Here’s the video on that particular night:

After the video was over, the time drew nigh for her to go to sleep. However, she had one last surprise in store for us. Seemingly out of nowhere, she starts jumping up and down. That part is hardly surprising, but she then follows it up by looking at each of us and repeatedly imploring: “Everybody DANCE!!! C’mon!!!” She continued to lurch all over the place and make her demands even as we simply laughed and spectated. This joyous episode took place for about 10 minutes.

The first lesson I have learned from children (intro here) is the value of being carefree. One main shackle that holds us all back is the fear of man: Worrying and caring way too much about what others think of us. Therefore, we’ve all become much more civilized and dignified, and we’ve honed our words, mannerisms, even the way we smile and laugh. Our image is paramount, and we prevent ourselves from ‘letting go,’ lest others look or think of us as weird or different.

Certainly, there are times that call for professionalism. But I pity those of us who feel a need to hold back when we’re amongst family and friends. The daughter’s carefree dance routine reminded me of King David in 2 Samuel 6:12-23 (NIV):

12 Now King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. 13 When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. 14 Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, 15 while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.

16 As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.

17 They brought the ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the Lord. 18 After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord Almighty. 19 Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each person in the whole crowd of Israelites, both men and women. And all the people went to their homes.

20 When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”

21 David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”

23 And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.

We all have a Michal or two in our lives. The one who frowns upon us and even passes us some Haterade when we do or say something carefree or silly. (Pro tip: If you don’t know who the Michal is in your life… then you might be her. Just sayin’.)

King David was so excited about God’s goodness in his own life and his people’s lives. Thus, he can’t help but rejoice, he can’t help but dance with all that he’s got. He knows that many eyes were upon him, and it didn’t matter to him. He was carefree.

I watched my favorite band twice last week. I saw Red in concert at the famous Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ on Sunday, and at the Highline Ballroom in NYC on Monday. The Jersey crowd was much smaller, but the people were also much more lively. (My theory: NYC’ers are less adept at rocking out because of the need to always act so civilized.) I was so carefree on Sunday night, mainly because I went alone. I noticed the occasional glance at my jumping and headbanging as well as my boisterous sing-along attempts, but I didn’t care. There was such freedom in enjoying the music, the performance, the lighting, the rocking out of fellow men and women Red-heads.

2016-10-23_23-15-38_746-2016-10-24t13_51_04-878

(A photo by me of my main man Michael Barnes in Asbury Park.)

This article recently made me think, though (aside: Game 7 tonight!!! Doesn’t get much better than this!). Am I as carefree when I worship God? I used to be. But the older I get, the more prim and proper I am in worship services. I still lift my hands and sway to the music; I still worship. But if you juxtaposed me at the Red concert vs. me in Sunday worship, you’d see quite the difference.

Going forward, let’s seek to heed the command of my friends’ young daughter, and call to mind what King David’s epic display. Not just in Sunday worship, but throughout each day. Let’s throw off the shackles of the fear of man, and live our lives with loud and unabashed joy. Let’s not worry so much about how we sound or how we look. And let’s remember that we can be carefree and even be a spectacle at times because Jesus unashamedly loves us, even willing to suffer public humiliation at the hands of haters galore.

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2 Responses to “What Children Teach Us, Part I: Carefree”

  1. […] « What Children Teach Us, Part I: Carefree […]

  2. […] the intro and Part I of this “What Children Teach Us” […]

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