Shortly before daybreak, I was driving to work on the parkway that runs along the river through DC. I was singing my current favorite worship song, Sweetly Broken. Then the thought crossed my mind that I should stop at the next scenic overlook, get out of the car, and worship with my whole body — not just my voice.

Uh… I’ve never done that before. I’ve never pulled my car off the side of the road to worship. A lot of people would see me there. A lot of them would think I’m crazy. The cops might stop me. And it’s not like I wasn’t truly worshipping in the car…

But I believe that when you get these promptings, you follow them — as long as they don’t contradict the Bible. And this one didn’t. The story of King David dancing naked before all the people of Israel in praise to the Lord came to mind. This was a King David moment.

So I pulled my car over, rolled down the window, cranked up the music, and sang/shouted with all my heart:

To the cross I look, to the cross I cling
Of its suffering I do drink
Of its work I do sing
For on it my Savior both bruised and crushed
Showed that God is love
And God is just

At the cross You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees, and I am
Lost for words, so lost in love,
I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered

What a priceless gift, undeserved life
Have I been given
Through Christ crucified
You’ve called me out of death
You’ve called me into life
And I was under Your wrath
Now through the cross I’m reconciled

At the cross You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees, and I am
Lost for words, so lost in love,
I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered

In awe of the cross I must confess
How wondrous Your redeeming love and
How great is Your faithfulness

Something happened in those few minutes; something I’m sure I won’t fully realize until much later. But I know that I meant the words of that song more than any of the other times I have sung it. I wholly surrendered.

And I also know that my pride — pride that has impeded God’s work in and through me — was brought to light and penetrated. This pride had been invisible to me. I didn’t know it was there, that it was an issue, or that it was holding me back as much as it was. But I saw it that morning.

The first half of the song, I was so self-conscious — peeking under my eyelids to see if a car had just pulled up. But by the second half of the song, I accepted the fact that I was a Jesus Freak, and I wasn’t ashamed of it. Why was I okay being totally sold out for Jesus on Sundays at church, but not during the week in the world? I wanted to be okay with it. So I raised my hands to the Lord, dropped to my knees before Him, and sang His praises with all my might — in front of all those people. And I spoke these words, “Lord, I lay my pride down before you here at the cross. Rid me of it all, so that nothing gets in the way of Your will in my life.”

Afterwards, I recognized that this small act was a huge step in my spiritual growth. It occurred to me that all the legendary saints — John the Baptist, Stephen, Paul, Mary — had to lay down their pride in order to be used so powerfully, and they had to start somewhere. For example, if Mary had not been able to wholly worship God in front of unbelievers, how could she have endured the social ostracizing incumbent with carrying Jesus in her womb? God knew my pride was an issue, and He used that morning to begin tearing it down.

I am not ashamed of the gospel (Rom 1:16). May I live like it.