In Don Miller’s book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, he writes:
Robert McKee says humans naturally seek comfort and stability. Without an inciting incident that disrupts their comfort, they won’t enter into a story...The character has to jump into the story, into the discomfort and the fear, otherwise the story will never happen.
Defining moments, inciting incidents – they’re the same thing; the action or moment that changes the story of your life. Recently I described on this blog, a sweet moment of joy with Jesus. Aside from it being an incredible moment of savouring the presence of Jesus, something else happened that evening – I picked up a worship flag. The action was innocuous in and of itself but it was a defining moment for me.
The back-story (and there is always a back-story) is that I had been watching people use flags during worship. I didn’t grow up with worship flags, nor were there tambourines or dance or people even raising their hands for that matter, so the flags were new and exciting for me. I was mesmerized and I wished to try. But I was afraid. Afraid that I’d look silly, afraid that I’d hit someone else in the head, afraid that I’d hit myself in the head. Mostly I was afraid I’d look silly.
During the evening worship that I described earlier, my intoxication with Jesus lowered my inhibitions and I picked up a large, beautiful purple flag that just happened to be lying at my feet. I picked it up and ran with it. Seriously. I literally ran with it. Not only that, I ran to the front and waved it in the air in front of everybody. Who was this crazy person, running around the church with no shoes and a flag? That certainly wasn’t the me I was used to. But it was glorious and I felt heaven agree.
I’m a warrior – I’ve always known that. When I read, “until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force,” I am charged up, like a horse race bracing against the stall impatient to run. I thought, as a warrior, I had to push back the gates of hell but the Lord showed me a better way. When I flag and worship, the glory of God descends like a weight and the Bible tells us that when light appears, the darkness must flee; taking the gate is child’s work after that.
I am a warrior and I carry the battle standard in worship, which makes the enemy flee (Isaiah 31:9); picking up a flag was a defining moment for me.