Recently, I have come to the conclusion that I am an EXTREMELY awkward person.
For starters,I have always been the clumsiest person in the world. This clumsiness becomes amplified when I am in high-pressure situations (i.e. around attractive men, important adults and well-liked people I want to be friends with). I’ve been known to walk into poles, drop cafeteria trays full of food and fall down frequently, and once I even managed to walk right into a fountain (somehow I just failed to notice it).
Furthermore, while I can be extremely articulate and well spoken at times, I tend to blurt out WHATEVER is on my mind. Needless to say, this generally isn’t a good move and makes for many an awkward situation. I say things that shouldn’t be said, give out overly personal information and generally just say stupid things.
For example, early this year I interviewed to be a tour guide on my college campus. The first question they asked me was, "What is something interesting about you, something not a lot of people know?" Now, I could have given them a variety of different answers. I won our school’s version of The Price Is Right. My favorite color is pink. I haven’t eaten an apple since I was 5. But for some odd reason I decided to tell them about the strange mole on my back and how my dermatologist told me that there is a very rare possibility that my children could look like lizards!?! How I got the job after that interview, I will never know.
I wonder sometimes whether or not Jesus was ever awkward. I mean, He was sinless, yes, but poised? He certainly didn’t seem to stutter when He told the disciples to follow Him, but did He ever get weak-kneed or uncomfortable around intimidating people? Did His heart ever race or His right armpit sweat uncontrollably for no apparent reason?
I’ve recently realized that my awkwardnessis a result of fear. I fear being rejected, disappointing others, being laughed at. I’m insecure, and for that reason I sit and beat myself up for saying the wrong things and making the wrong moves. How comforting it is to know that we serve a God who loves us in our most awkward moments. What’s more, our embarrassments can actually be a form of worship.
For a biblical perspective on awkwardness, take a look at 2 Samuel 6. Here we find David dancing around half-naked, simply rejoicing in the presence of the Lord. When I read this story, I always picture that Fatboy Slim music video where Christopher Walken dances by himself for a solid five minutes. I have no doubts that to the general public, David appeared pretty ridiculous, and from the text it’s obvious that people were ashamed of his behavior. It is my biggest fear lived out, people staring and laughing at how stupid I look. But David’s response just blows me away. In verses 21 and 22 he says:
“I will celebrate before the Lord, I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.”
God does not require that we always know the perfect words to say. He couldn’t care less how many times we spill our drink at dinner or if we once fell off a stage during a theatric performance (hypothetically speaking, of course). Worshipping Christ means getting over our awkwardness and putting away our fears. Even the greatest biblical giants had their awkward moments. In Exodus 4:10 Moses cries out, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent … I am slow of speech and tongue.” And in 1 Corinthians 2:1-3, Paul says, “I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom … I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.” The Lord wants us to embrace our awkwardness and have confidence in His ability to use us regardless of how frequently we fail to play it cool. He is all that we need, and in Him we are, in the truest sense of the word, graceful.
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