Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Learning to Dance

As I move around the outer edge of the floor, I struggle to keep up with the rhythm. I bounce, I sway, I stutter, I constantly remind myself, "one step left, two steps right, turn, stop, toe, stop..." I watch to make sure I'm doing it right, and as I focus on his feet or on her stance I slip or stumble or do two steps left. Frustrated, I listen to the rhythm, I try to pick up the beat, I mimic the steps. I remain in the shadows, just trying to keep up.

"May I have this dance?"
"It's not a couple's dance, Daddy. No one else is dancing with anybody."

Embarassed, but also relieved, I give you my hand.

"I can't keep up," I say.
"Just follow me."
Ashamed, my eyes find the floor. "I'll try, but I don't think I can. I keep counting the steps."

"Well then," you say, and before I know it you're lifting me off the ground and I'm now standing on your feet. "There, now you don't have to worry about it at all. Just enjoy the ride."

And with that we're off. Four steps left, two steps right, spin, spin, spin. I grip tighter and laugh harder. We dance through and around everyone else, you making up your own steps to a rhythm inside of you.

I forget them. The music. The steps. The people. I forget to worry about doing it well, doing it right. I'm just holding on for dear life and sheer joy.

The music slows down, but you continue to move us across the floor. We move together around and around, and I begin to feel that I can hear the music inside of you.

The people watching say my eyes are dancing more than my feet. I'm glad you asked me for this dance. I'm glad I let you have it.

I've learned recently how I'm very autonomous when it comes to dancing. I can keep the rhythm, I can make it look alright, but when it comes to dancing WITH somebody, I just can't make it happen. I don't know how to follow. Unfortunately I saw some parallels between myself on a dance floor and myself in my spiritual walk.

"Trust me," He says. "I can't," I always respond. I don't know how. I keep trying to do it right. I'm constantly trying to keep up with those around me. I have in my head how it's supposed to look, and so I find it impossible to just follow Him.

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." ~Proverbs 16:9

When I finally give the dance of my life over to God, and allow Him to carry me around the dance floor with the steps that He decides we should take, I forget about doing it right and get absorbed in the joy and closeness of the moment. I lose myself, riding on the steps of my Daddy.