I raise my hands in unison with the hundreds around me and scream at the top of my lungs. Our fists pump the air. Our smiles beam. The lasers and stunning visual effects reflect our euphoria.
On stage the guitarist lets loose. His silhouette magnifies the joy we all feel. We jump as one. The decision to wear a sweater now haunts me. The tee underneath approaches saturation point. But I don’t care. No one does.
As the beat shakes my bones and soul as one, my arms raised, pumping uncontrollably, my hips joining in on the fun, I have a thought:
So easy it is for me to raise my hands. So easy it is for me to lose control. So easy it is for me to lose myself. Here, in such a worldly environment, surely many of those around me ‘tripping’, I am completely consumed by my surrounds. Could it be the beers, the rum and cokes, that are making me feel this way? No. This feels different. The beat, the energy, the company – everything.
Just like that time a few months ago in which I found myself rocking out my best attempt at a Samba in a Brazilian club near Bondi at 1am. Never had my smile grown so large. Never had I felt so free.
And yet, put me in a church, at 6pm on a Sunday night, the music pumping, the crowd jumping, just as they are now, and you’ll find my hands in my pockets, my lips sealed, my eyes scanning the audience blankly, waiting for the moment that I can ‘take my seat’.
Despite all of those around me surrendering to God wholeheartedly, I cannot help but feel embarrassed to raise my hands and sing out His glorious name. I cannot help but feel I would be judged. But why?
It is only now, in writing these words, in reflecting on such feelings, such emotions, such dilemma, that I realise what is in fact happening here.
Wordly deceit. Evil tricks. Evil itself.
It is, of course, the evil one who is playing these games with my self-esteem; these games with my confidence and ability to surrender, to confess, to profess my relationship with God to all those that surround me in witness. Such a contrast in feelings between environments can only be attributed to such cause.
For many thousands of years he has been crafting these methods of trickery, refining the means for this devious deception. So young, naiive, unskilled I am to withstand such advances on the relationship I have with my creator.
To look within to find the strength to overcome such challenges will surely only result in my imminent demise. For the strength required to overcome such evil can only be found in the Father Himself. The Father of all. The bearer of all knowledge. The infinitely wise.
It is the only way.
Just as these trials will continue to repeat themselves, that needed repeating. To God I must look. Yes, again, it is the only way.
‘You are the way, the truth and the life.’