Ricky Bobby Hands and Linen Ephods

8 May


I play the bass guitar. Not “well” by any stretch of the imagination, but I am the default bass player at our church because I am the only bass player at our church. On the off-chance that I am not playing on a Sunday morning, I always sit in the very back of the church. Why? Three reasons:

1. I have a 13-month-old and I like being able to make a quick getaway if Lily starts freaking out during the service.

2. I have a weird thing about people sitting behind me. It isn’t like I have a weird bald spot that I think people are going to be staring at, but I’m always worried that a short person will end up sitting behind me and I’ll end up blocking their view of the worship team or the pastor.

3. I like to be a little discreet during worship time. If someone is going to see what I’m doing during worship time, they are going to have to crane their neck all the way around to the back of the room to see me. When they look back and our eyes lock, I give them a smile which I hope sarcastically conveys something along the lines of, “Yes, I’m worshiping back here. Distracted?”

If I were ever confronted about my consistent seat selection in the back of the room, I would point to Matthew 6 and claim that I was trying to avoid drawing attention to myself, but I would be partially lying. There’s another reason…

When it comes to my worship habits, I have R.B.H. syndrome (“Ricky Bobby Hands”–If you don’t know what I’m talking about, ask someone who has seen Talladega Nights to explain it to you).

I always feel the need to white-knuckle my hands around the chair or pew in front of me. At times, I will stand totally still, locking up all my joints till I nearly pass out. Other times I will be in the middle of singing a song when I suddenly become aware that I have been swaying in place (though I have no idea why I am doing this or for how long).

Now, there are many ways to participate in worship, from the reserved to the demonstrative, but at the end of the day, many of my worship habits are more based in fear than scripture of doctrine. I’m aware that what I’m doing isn’t working—I don’t feel the freedom in worship that I used to when I was a child who was blissfully unaware of the other people in the sanctuary.

So how do I get that freedom back? Time to crack open your Bibles!

I’ve been reading a lot of books about worship lately, and one of the passages on worship that authors always seem to bring up is 2 Samuel 6:14-15:

“And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.”

Now for those of you who don’t know what an ephod is, David was getting his praise on wearing nothing more than a sleeveless undergarment that came down to about the hip. It was essentially nothing more than his underwear.

It’s a powerful picture: A world leader, dancing and singing in front of all of his people, in his underwear.  David worshiped God not only with all his might, but also with complete abandon, with complete disregard of how he looked or what others thought—particularly  his wife Michal. She was recorded as being very offended that a king would be seen dancing around in his underwear (as my wife Amanda would be if I started dancing around the sanctuary  in my skivvies). David didn’t care about how he looked or about what anyone else around him might think. His primary concern was worshiping God.

How cool is that?

To be so lost in the worship of God that you could care less about how your voice sounds or how the person next to you sounds, or how you look, or who’s looking at you. David summed up his “God matters most” attitude in his response to his wife: “I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes” (2 Samuel 6:22, NIV).

I want that!

I long to be so connected to God that everything else around me seems insignificant. I long to be so free that the only voice I care to hear from is God’s. I long to care less about the things of this world and more about the things that are on God’s heart.

I’m not suggesting you bust out the linen ephod, but I am suggesting a change in your perspective: Instead of worrying about how you stand, or how you sound, or what others might think, maybe it’s time for you to worship like David did—uninhibited, unashamed and utterly focused on God.

-David Wonders


Yes, “David Wonders” is his real name. Dave is  a husband, a father, and the midday host at 104.3 The Pulse (thepulse.mn). Somehow he finds time to read absurd numbers of books.  Connect with Dave on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Klout.

photo credit: dtcchc via photopin cc

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