I was in church on Sunday when I noticed a young boy about 11 years old onstage helping lead worship. He was not a lead singer, rather he was part of a small chorus of adults in the background. But he stood out to me because he was unique in his worship style for a young person.
Ours is a Baptist church, so there is not a lot of raising of the arms and hands in praise, but definitely there is a degree of demonstration and hand waving with some. However, this young boy was in his own little world with his eyes closed and hands gently opened to God. He was not overt in his praise, but he appeared to be wrapped up in genuine, sincere worship.
I wondered how an adolescent boy could be so apparently in love with Jesus. I thought about how self-conscious most of us are in showing our emotions. I pondered whether he was real or was just putting on a show. And then God brought a Scripture to mind: “Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” (I Timothy 4:12)
This young boy was an example to me. I don’t know his circumstances. I certainly don’t know anything about his home life or his faith walk. But this lesson from God to me was clear that day: regardless of our age or how long we’ve followed Christ, we can become an excellent example to others in being led by the Holy Spirit and relying on Him to grow and mature us.
Maybe that Sunday morning as a seasoned Christ follower, I needed to be reminded again of the exuberance of youth, of the freshness of an intimacy with my Savior, of the importance of letting loose and unabashedly praising God through music. Am I concerned that someone might be watching me rather than being in the moment with Jesus? God tells us to please Him and not man.
Praise God for that young boy in church who preached a mini-sermon to me without even knowing it. And praise God for youth who are embarking on their own life-long journey of a close relationship with their Lord and Savior. They can be examples to all of us…and I’ll sing to that!
By Barbara Beck