Monday, April 26, 2010

Take a Knee

Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear. They will say of me, “In the Lord alone are righteousness and strength.” Isaiah 45:23-24

Therefore God also highly exalted him, so that at the name of Jesus every knee would bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11

I find no difficulty, no hesitation in saying out loud, “Jesus is Lord.” The hard part comes with the knee-bending. Whether done physically or metaphorically, kneeling in Christ’s presence is an act of submission, a demonstration of my willingness to yield control to an authority outside of myself. But I’m a control freak, so capitulating never comes easily. I have to work at it.

This evening, I had the opportunity to learn a new skill. I was with my church hand bell choir for our regular Monday night rehearsal when the director asked me to move from my usual position and learn a different part. Now, I have a modicum of hand bell experience, and I’ve mastered the basics along the way. I can read music, I can manage a different bell in each hand, I know how to create the special effects that come with thumb damping and plucking and shaking the bells. I’m proficient.

Or I thought I was proficient until I was asked to ring 4 bells simultaneously. Yes, there is a way to overlap the bells’ strappy handles so that each hand can accommodate 2 bells, and yes, there is a way to strike them independently of each other. Several practiced musicians tried to show me the proper technique that would allow me to accomplish this feat. I would go so far as to say these musicians were experts. They were authorities. Had I simply submitted to their expertise, had I acquiesced to their experience and surrendered to their teaching, it would have been an evening of lovely, full-bodied music pealing through the church.

But of course, I barreled ahead on my own, disregarding their knowledge and wisdom in exchange for my own clumsy clanking and banging. A train wreck would have been a happier sound than the ones I was creating by ignoring good advice and doing things my way. (The director sent us home early tonight. I think it’s because I gave her a headache.)

I have a tendency to charge into life in the same stubborn way, believing I can figure things out for myself. Sometimes I can, but it’s never without a lot of false starts and dissonance. I’m sure I must give God a headache. I know I give myself one. If I could just manage to take a knee sometimes and simply acknowledge that Jesus is in control—and I’m not—there would be a lot fewer headaches to contend with.


  1. Your awareness is profound. Sometimes we feel profunctory in life's lessons. We are not in a race towards perfection. We are on a journey of love, I believe. Quirks and all. Sometimes I feel like I am trying to jam a square peg in a round hole and everyone else can see my folly but me. Thanks for being real. Thanks for being you!

  2. Hi, Chris!

    Oh, don't I know it! I'm sure I give God a headache most days! I'm a control freak myself, and I jump in the pool sometimes before I check to see if there's any water. It's like I always say in my nightly prayer. Dear God, I don't know why you bother with me sometimes, but I'm awfully glad you do.

    Peace, Angel

  3. Hey there sisters Katie and Angel--On this "journey of love" as Katie aptly calls it, we are three quirky ladies. But we're all created in God's image, so that makes it more than okay for us to be ourselves!