The Lead

I’m officially addicted to dancing. I’ve gotten back into country dancing since October-ish.  I did swing dancing in high school and college, but just East Coast.  During the past two weeks, I’ve been lindy hopping up a storm!  And I’m HOOKED.   [Side note, I’m enjoying swing dancing more because I can pretty much dance every song with a skilled dancer, be spun around the floor, and not have to ask guys to dance.  As opposed to country.  Complete opposite, even when I go with a group of guys.]

So these past few days, I’ve been considering the parallel between my tendencies in lead-follow dancing and in my relationship with God.

If you’ve done any type of partner dance, you know – the lead-follow connection is very important.  For me, I have a problem (well, many problems).  My tendency is to try to stay in control and anticipate what is coming. It doesn’t go well!  I either look like I can’t dance or hurt myself.  A few well-meaning dance partners informed me that I was not being a very good follow, I’ve been working on improving my skills for the past few weeks.

It got me thinking… my desire to know what is coming shows up in other areas of my life as well.  I’ve definitely had practice decreasing this tendency in my relationships with friends and family.  But in my relationship with God, I try to overlook the problem {which never goes well}.  It becomes a lot more apparent when there are stresses in my life, and, just like in dancing, I end up being a bit of a mess!

Trust.  It is an important aspect of dance.  If I don’t trust my partner, then I can never see the full potential of the dance.  If I don’t give up my own control, it will essentially be a battle {not pretty!}.  I’d like to think I have improved at this over the past few weeks.  It is definitely easier to do with the guys I’ve danced with more.  It is a little intimidating with those leads who are crazy awesome dancers and try crazy things that I am totally unfamiliar with.  But at least I’ve made some progress!

Proverbs 3:5 has been running through my head.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

That verse pretty much says it all.  If I try to lean on my own control, my own understanding of my life and this work, I will fall.  But if I put my trust in God, he can make my life powerful for His glory.  When He leads me to do something unfamiliar and intimidating, I should follow.   God is never a bad lead.  He is completely trustworthy; He will not drop me or lead me somewhere unsafe.

To see progress in both my dancing and in my relationship with Christ, I need to continue being intentional – putting my trust in the lead and giving up control.  Things should go a lot more smoothly.

When I was contemplating all of this, and listening to the radio, this song by Jamie Grace came on called “You Lead.”

I found this poem entitled “Guidance.”  It’s a little cheesy, but it pretty much says what I’ve been thinking.

G U I D A N C E

Author Unknown

When I meditated on the word “Guidance”,
I kept seeing “dance” at the end of the word.

I remember reading that doing God’s will is a lot like dancing.
When two people try to lead, nothing feels right.
The movement doesn’t flow with the music, and everything is quite
uncomfortable and jerky.

When one person realizes that and lets the other lead, both bodies begin to
flow with the music.

One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back or by pressing
lightly in one direction or another.

It’s as if two become one body, moving beautifully.
The dance takes surrender, willingness, and attentiveness from one person
and gentle guidance and skill from the other.

My eyes drew back to the word “guidance”.
When I saw “G”, I thought of God, followed by “U” and “I”.
“God”, “U” and “I” “dance”.
God, you and I dance.

As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust that I would get guidance
about my life.

Once again, I became willing to let God lead.

If you have any thoughts, feel free to comment!

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