Friday, October 20

Dancing with Abandon

My daughter loves to dance. She'll dance to classical, country, pop, advertising jingles, Silly Songs with Larry™. She's even been known to wiggle her little hips to train whistles. It got me thinking.

At what age to we start feeling self-conscious? What sets us off? Do we one day wake up and see people looking at us in a way we never noticed before? And, why is it so hard to go back?

What is that verse about the wisdom of God appearing foolish to men?

In my previous life, before marriage and kids, I was an event planner for a trade associtation. I traveled around the U.S. setting up and helping to run conferences. As part of these events, we would often have a banquet night with dinner, dancing, and an open bar. While my personal convictions don't prohibit me from an occasional drink, I felt it was inappropriate to be drinking while I was technically working. That attitude kept me in the minority, however, especially as the evenings would progress. So, with some regularity I found myself having the opportunity to dance among a large group of people who were as likely as not to remember it in the morning.

How incredibly freeing that was! I learned to rarely worry about missteps and the near constant fear of making a fool of myself. I loved it! And, amazingly enough, I would often get comments the next morning from people who did, in fact, remember and had been impressed with my "skill."

It makes me wonder...could this be what Jesus meant when He said, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3, NIV). Do we as a society spend so much time focusing on how we look, how we might appear to others, that we're missing out on the greatness God has stored up for us? Do we distract ourselves (and, worse yet, others) from the blessings of God by our own fear that we will look a little strange?

What is that verse about the wisdom of God appearing foolish to men? In I Corinthians 1:18 Paul writes, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (NIV)

I love to dance. I love the feel of moving in time with the music, the rhythm bouncing up from my soul and cascading out around me. Maybe it's time I learn a lesson from my daughter and rediscover the joy of dancing with abandon. And, maybe, I should look at some of the other areas of my life where I'm concerned about what other people are thinking of me. Maybe God's tying to pour in some grace there too.

6 comments:

  1. Amy,
    You are the most amazing woman, you know that?! You have such wisdom and grace as you respond to what the Lord is teaching you! I am so glad you have the opportunity to share you thoughts in this forum, and I am so proud of you!
    I love you!
    Adam

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  2. Awwww.

    I guess I can start using your name now, huh?

    I love you, too.

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  3. I found your blog from your post on my sister's blog--Purple Kangaroo. Your name caught my eye for obvious reasons, hehe.

    I love the title of your blog (as a fiction writer, imagination is very much a part of my life!) and this is a very thought-provoking post. I love it!

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  4. Amy,

    Thanks for the comments. I like to provoke thought!

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  5. Amy,

    Have you read Dangerous Wonder - an adventure in Childlike faith by Mike Yaconelli? One of the chapters is called 'wild abandon' - I think dancing with abandon would fall under this!

    love Emily

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  6. Emily,

    Thanks for visiting. I never have read that. Maybe I should.

    How's life on the other side of the world?

    You can click on my name, to bring up my profile and you can e-mail me directly from there.

    Amy

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