Monday, May 07, 2007

Don't you take that tone with me!

I remember my mother saying to me "Don't you take that tone with me!"

Our tone of voice is something that really indicates how we feel, isn't it? You can tell when someone is listening and really listening to you. You can tell when someone is just placating you. And you can tell when someone is really pissed off.

We listen to voices all day long. We hear our kids' voices, whining for just ONE more snack before dinner. We listen to our spouse's voice when you didn't turn in that one receipt that he didn't know about. We listen to our parents' voices when they are making a comment about our parenting style, but not directing that comment at us but instead directing it in the form of veiled criticism directly to our children.

And then there is that tone ... that one that says "whatever."

You know that one. That sarcastic, almost to the brink of being bored tone.

It was that tone that I chose to use in my head when our choir director told us to say "Praise the Lord" yesterday. But apparently not only did I use it in my head, I verbalized it.


I don't think that the people in front of me heard it. But Ace did. And as soon as it left my lips, I did one of those Homer Simpson cringe/D'oh things, and Ace exclaims "NICE!"

Apparently, it was a rather sarcastic exclamation.

But here's why. There is nothing that I don't like more is being TOLD by my pastors to say something. Is there an amen out there?

And this one was one of those times. Prompting someone to be led by the Spirit during worship is one thing. Forcing someone to respond in a certain manner, when you normally don't respond in that manner, that is a whole 'nother ball of wax for me.

I don't walk around saying Praise the Lord. I just don't. That isn't me. And don't even get me started when they taught us the motions to Lord We Lift Your Name on High that the ELEMENTARY CHOIR uses. Please. To see my MOTHER stand there, digging an imaginary grave ... that was just way too much.

Music is a large part of our ministry. And people should be allowed to worship in their own way. Asking the congregation to respond in a manner that is forced ... that really isn't giving glory to God to me. That is just asking them to be a participant, and maybe they don't want to participate in that manner. And maybe we don't want to do interpretive dance. Leave that to the one person in our church who so freely feels the leading of the Spirit that she will erupt in dance at any given moment (don't get me started on the effects that has on a person like me who can't stop staring at someone when they call attention to themselves, albeit not a selfish calling of attention).

So ... in your best "whatever" tone of voice ... say it with me


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Anonymous Robin said...

Mary, digging the imaginary grave..HA HA HA! I felt equally stupid. Just not in me. I am totally ok if you are choosing to do that..but the way Jason forces us to do things...
Wonder if he is like that at home?!

9:13 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

Perhaps we were twins separated at birth...ANYONE telling me to do ANYTHING not pre-programmed into my personality is subject to that tone from me...IF I bother to answer at all. The older I get, the more silent I am becoming in moments like those.

9:16 AM  
Blogger Knitting Maniac said...

Ann... maybe I should choose silence as well. It would probably be more tolerated.

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This would be a majority of the reason that Pman and I have strayed from the faiths we were raised in. The whole bit about them telling us how to live, praise, etc. There's nothing that will piss a person off more than to have the pastor of a church come into your home and tell you that you aren't raising your children correctly. Oh no he din't! Yes, he did.

10:35 AM  

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I'm a mom of three peeps ... Queen Bee, The Door Man, and the Chandelier Monkey, and wife to Ace, the Helpful Hardware Man. I created this space to get away from the people known as my inlaws, and because life with three kids and a hubby is all Unexplored Territory.

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