Friday, May 15, 2009

Shall We Dance?

        I’m a Dancing with the Stars fan.  Anything that has to do with dance draws me in.    The thing I love about it is watching people who are not dancers learn moves they never knew they could do.    Part of the importance of the show though is to showcase the professional dancers who teach the stars.  They display their choreography and skill.  It’s really quite the metaphor for life.  

    Ty is a bull rider in the rodeo arena.  He’s a rough and tumble kind of guy.  The judges often said  that he looked like a robot, with his rigid moves.   “Lighten up”, relax” they said.

     Shawn is a 17 year old Olympic gymnast.  The judges kept telling her to let loose and connect with her partner.  The latin dances required her to show an intimate side, something she was not comfortable doing, especially with someone who was like a brother to her.   

      Gille was known for his sex appeal.  He’d been a model.  He’s used to people staring at him.  He had more difficulty showing sophistication.  He was encouraged to dial down on the raunchy  He showed too much.

      There’s balance in everything, even dancing.   You can have too much, be too raunchy, too rigid or have too little connection to the story of the dance.

      Each week the stars were given a new dance to learn, sometimes two.  They had a week to learn difficult steps.  They depended on their partner to not only choreograph them but to lead them into each step.

     As the show evolved I watched the stars look to their partners, who knew every move, every step.  In the process they learned to dance.  It was stunning. 

      There was something about watching Gille and Cheryl that was captivating.   They danced with unity and passion, connected, mutually submitted in trust to one another.   I wonder what life would look like if we saw Jesus look at us with a fierce zeal.  He does you know.  Would we would dance differently with Him.  Would we display a captivating picture?  Would people look at our lives lived out and see the captivating heart of Jesus on display?

    I wonder what would happen if our marriages were lived out of that.  What if we trusted God in the other person enough to submit ourselves in that kind of dance.  What would we display to the world around us?

      What if we lived in this dance with Papa like Ty?   He was committed to give his all.  Nothing held back.  He allowed himself to be seen in all aspects of the dance.  At times I believe he felt exposed in his weakness.  He was not a dancer.  It was way out of his comfort zone, yet he refused to give up and quit.  What if we lived life with nothing held back?  What if we let Jesus twirl us around allowing our weakness to be seen so that His strength would be demonstrated.  Would our relationships be richer?

      Shawn was a perfectionist who was used to pushing herself for excellence.   The judges challenged her to  let herself go, to find the pleasure in the dance.  She did.  It was beautiful.   What if we let go?  What if we relaxed, laying our efforts aside.  What if we gave up getting it right and allowed Jesus to perfect us.  What if we stopped needing our performance to please.  Would the beauty of God spill out all over our lives?

      We hold back, we give too much.  There’s balance in everything.  We are here to display His splendor.  It’s that simple.  As we place our hands into His He leads us into the choreography He has designed for us.  It’s not about us.   We are here to show Him off.  If we got that, what would our lives look like?

      He’s invited us into the dance.  The steps might look different from week to week.  The good news is we’re not on our own.  He’s got it all covered.   He knows the dance.  He created it.  

     They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.  Isaiah 61: 3b      

©copyrighted:  2009  Julie L. Todd


Laura said... Reply to comment

What a precious post for me to read today, my wedding anniversary! YOu have me thinking, friend! It's true that I've been out of balance lately--too much going on. But I mustn't lose that passion. I need to focus.

Thank you for encouraging me today, Jewlz!

Love you,

christy rose said... Reply to comment

I like the idea that He has invited us into the "dance." How romantic to think that our Lord has a glorious life for us which includes us and Him dancing through all eternity and showing His splendor and glory as we harmoniously walk or dance together, hand in hand, neither of us dancing alone.

Great post!

Debbie said... Reply to comment

I loved this post! What a wonderful analogy you made using Dancing with the Stars and the lessons they needed to learn. Yes, I wonder how different our dance would be if we really trusted and gave it our all. I want to dance with Jesus and abandon myself to His perfect will, no matter what. Thanks for sharing this.

Crown of Beauty said... Reply to comment

Dancing is one thing I was never good at. But deep inside how I wished I could dance. It is still a secret longing of mine, to be able to dance for the king. I probably could have learned to be a good dancer if I was trained at a young age -- my limbs could have learned to sway gracefully and be more flexible in my movements. When I try to dance I am rigid and stiff. Sigh!

I loved your post, understandably!

I know that in heaven I will be a graceful dancer. Or who knows, someday, I may still be able to do it. For the king.

Thank you for your insights again. Jesus is the dance instructor who knows all the moves. He is leading us in the dance. Beautiful thoughts!

Katie said... Reply to comment

You know what this post reminded me of? A little thing I once read about the intricacies and beauty in dancing, and how one must learn to follow the others guidance or it's not beautiful. The author of this little devotional ended with a little something about the word "Guidance" that touched me.

Guidance is:
God, U and I DANCE.


Gretchen said... Reply to comment

Don't you lurve it when God uses one of our favorite shows as an object(s) lesson? Beautiful, Jewelz.

Joye @ The Joyeful Journey said... Reply to comment

This is just beautiful--I want to dance with Jesus like that!!

Karen said... Reply to comment

This was a beautiful message and timely for me today....I just came from my granddaughter's ballet recital. The ballet company is Christian based and the girls dance for the glory of the Lord. Their final selection today was about "Dancing for the King", which goes so well with your post. This has surely been a day for dancing before the Lord!

Sita said... Reply to comment

I loved this post, because I love dance...I remember taking some lessons when I was an international student and how hard it was to allow my partner to lead--we Trini gals like to move to the tune of our beat!-but when I learnt that my partner's hand on my back gently yet firmly guided me, or spun was so beautiful...and it is also about 'trust' in your partner to make you look good too...

and I see 'dance' the movie Earth recently, I saw the dance of life and what an amazing Choreographer..I fell in love with God all over again...
watching that...

Julie, I pray that you feel His Hand gently and firmly guiding you into the grace of a dance with Him...listen to The Lord of the Dance when you always transports me to heaven...

Love, Sita

Amy said... Reply to comment

I love this analogy!

I want to leave some words of encouragement for Crown of Beauty:

I believe if you have the desire to learn to dance beautifully, then the Lord will allow you to live out the dream. My life is living proof of this. My biggest dream had to do with dance - specifically ballet. I took dance lessons as a young girl and in college. But by the age of 20 I gave into the voice I heard telling me I was no good at it. In fact I felt so much like you described, like I was stiff and rigid. I gave up my dream and didn't dance (ballet) for 18 years until God opened a door for me. I now teach dance (tap and ballet) to girls.

NOTHING is impossible with God (Luke 1:37)! I believe the Lord is inviting you to dance both spiritually and in the natural. I say: "GO for your dancing dreams!"


Kimberly said... Reply to comment

Love this!!!

I am definitely a perfectionist who needs to let go in the dance with my Father. And, I am praying that He would indeed continue to seal in my heart that He looks at me with a fierce and perfect love.

Wonderful, Julie!

2nd Cup of Coffee said... Reply to comment

Balance is a bigger issue than most people think. Just think of how it affects relationships, pasttimes, eating, etc. Good post!

Billy Coffey said... Reply to comment

I have to say that I'm not much of a dancer, but I love watching people do it. Love the metaphor of our relationships being a dance. That's exactly what they are. Beautifully done!

Miss G said... Reply to comment

Beautiful analogy! Thanks for your comment on my post yesterday and the compliment to my man! He is so talented and wonderful. I can't wait to continue hearing about how God is showing up in the wedding planning! So exciting. Kelly

Annie said... Reply to comment

Beautiful application lesson, Julie! Thanks!

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

What a great post! I am still trying to figure out how to follow Him without feeling stressed out. I'm also thinking of your post about "the should's" too. How to not feel like I "have to" accomplish all of these things that maybe He didn't even want to me to do in the first place. Thanks for your post! Blessings! Jenny

Beautiful Grace said... Reply to comment

Your post title, "Shall We Dance?" caught my eye, because my love of Jesus is best expressed through worship dancing. It's amazing how one touch from the King can chase away self-consciousness and replace it with a steady-focused gaze on Him.

Yes, dancing with Jesus through life's storms and calms, keeping synchronized, passionate steps with the Lover of my soul is my goal.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to's about learning to dance in the rain." Author Unknown

Tea With Tiffany said... Reply to comment

Amen! I have word pictures about the dance too. I love that You see Jesus in everything. I'm always looking for Him. And the beautiful thing is He's always there. To extend a hand. To lead our dance. Beautiful.

Thank you for your gift of words.

I love you,