For some odd reason, when I was in seventh grade, we had ballroom dance lessons in the gymnasium of my Catholic school. I’m not sure if they were weekly, or less frequently, but I remember gathering as a class to learn the steps to dance the Waltz (box step). The teacher called out the steps as we practiced them: “Forward – side – together; backwards – side - together. One two three, four five six; one two three, four five six.”
We first learned and practiced individually in straight lines, with the teacher (not a dance instructor!) demonstrating the moves in the front row. Once we seemed fairly comfortable with the steps, the teacher played music, and we practiced again, this time in rhythm with the sound of the music. I always liked dancing. I could pick up the steps fairly effortlessly, and I had a pretty good sense of rhythm. So these practice sessions were enjoyable for me!
Then, about once a month, the gym where we learned and practiced was transformed into a ballroom. The girls were lined up on one side of the gym in their dresses, and the boys on the other side with their suits and ties. The boys were then told to pick a girl and ask her to dance. I have no idea why this was part of the curriculum, but there you have it! I’m that old!
When a boy finally did ask me to dance (it always seemed like an eternity!), I was usually quite frustrated with the dance experience. It was my turn to follow now, but it was very uncomfortable for me to let the boys lead. After all, I was a better dancer, and they usually got the steps all wrong! Needless to say, it didn’t feel like a dance at all – more like a chore, an obligation, or a frustrating challenge that kept me unaware of the beautiful background music, and left me feeling annoyed and exhausted.
I realized today that I tend to live the dance of my life in much the same way. I’m constantly trying to lead, and I feel that same frustration that I felt in the seventh grade. I think to myself, “This isn’t the way the day should go . . . or the project . . . or the relationship . . . or the holiday. I’m constantly fighting against my dance partner, even though I know in my heart that I can trust Him to guide me.
Today I must remember to listen to the music (even when I don’t like the melody), to dance with purpose and not to worry if the steps seem out of synch. I must remember to carry on and dance with a joyful heart, so that when the dance is over, I can exhale and rest in the comfort of knowing that I danced my part. I danced gracefully despite the apparent missteps. I listened to the wonderful music, and I fully experienced the exciting swirls and even the surprising and abrupt dips. Throughout the dance of life, I felt the gentle clasp of my partner’s hands. I gazed into His eyes with trust, and I simply let God lead.
(Here’s a link to a song to add to your time of reflection — “Lord of the Dance”: https://youtu.be/YV15StV6TK0
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