"There is a time to plan and a time to mourn but when that time is greater than our time to stand still before God, surrender to the dance, then we are worshiping the human level of life and all its fluctuations and not the Creator of Life."
So, when I was at a friend's retirement party the other night and began talking with a real dancer, I couldn't help but to get comfortable in the chair and ask, "So what's it like to grow up to be a dancer?"
During my conversation with the college dance instructor and choreographer (who said he knew when he was 16 that he wanted to be a dancer), I shared how dance was and still is the art form that can bring me to tears within minutes. And out of curiosity, from his side of things, I asked, "Where do you go when you dance?"
His answer surprised me, "I don't go anywhere. I'm in the present moment. If you're thinking about the next move or what you did minutes ago, you will mess up."
What a metaphor for life!
It was in that answer that I began to understand why I get caught up watching a masterful dance. There's something about the movement, the technique put into action, my witnessing what's happening in the moment. I am drawn into the dance, lifted by it, and somehow changed because of it.
We bump our toe, we fall, we may even sprang an ankle or worse. Not to mention that our partner's moves can become limited due to our misstep! We limit the beauty of the moves out of our ego's fear and therefore need to control, when the fullness can be experienced instead by trusting God.
Grant it, it's challenging, particularly in our culture, to not think ahead, plan for what may or may not come; and to not linger in the past -- lamenting what we've lost, what we could have done differently. There is a time to plan and a time to mourn but when that time is greater than our time to stand still before God, surrender to the dance, then we are worshiping the human level of life and all its fluctuations and not the Creator of Life.
The present is where we dance with God. Being in the moment is when are where that space opens above us and we transcend to a greater experience and awareness. We get lost in the beauty and majesty of it all. We embrace God's love and allow it to wash over us. We recognize our face in His/Her's and know, for that holy moment, our wholeness.
This being present to the moment takes constant surrender (Centering Prayer helps with this practice). To fully accept the new mercies God grants every morning, we must let go, to some degree, of yesterday. To be fully available to the Holy Spirit, we are called to let go of our idea of what should have been. We have to get out of my heads and even our feelings and just be, trusting the moment to hold us. This is heaven on earth. And this awareness and openness to Love because our blueprint for loving others and being who Christ called us to be.
I understand now, with such compassion and gratitude, why the little girl in me wanted to be a dancer, to be caught up in the unseen, to transcend. And I'm so thankful that this Path has shown me that each day I have the opportunity to dance with the ultimate instructor, choreographer, partner.
I didn't finish my conversation with my new dancer friend, but I'm sure we will pick up from where we left off when we meet again. I'm smiling though, as I write this, thinking, in many ways I am the dancer I wanted to be when I was a little girl. How cool is that?!
Reflection question of the week:
How is life like a dance to you? Are you trying to lead, have others lead, or allow God to lead? If your dance feels uncomfortable, can you search yourself and situation to know why, and then surrender it in prayer? What else can you do to surrender into the Dance?