God as Dance Leader

“Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”  Psalm 25:4-5 (NIV)

A lot of what I have learned about faith has happened in ballroom dance class.  As one who had studied jazz, tap, and ballet, I was excited when my husband Scott signed us up for lessons.  I was certain that I would quickly learn the patterns.  On the first lesson, however, I received a rude awakening.  We were informed that there is a strict rule in ballroom proclaiming that the leader is in charge.  I was horrified.  “You mean I can only move when he says so?  And I can only turn when he decides?”  As the one who had studied dance, it didn’t seem fair.  For awhile, it wasn’t much fun. Once, he waltzed me into a pole because he had not yet learned how to turn.   Many other times, the dance fell apart because I couldn’t/ wouldn’t/ didn’t want to follow.

Now, years later, I find joy in being a follower. I have discovered a certain freedom within the following.  I have discovered that I can follow in my own unique way.  There are interesting things I can do with my hands; I can even syncopate the steps.   I am not burdened with the stress of planning patterns, but my job is to pay attention and be ready to walk, slide, spin, or swivel. Magic happens when the leading and following are synched together.

This idea of the leading and following has helped me think about my faith life.  God is the perfect leader who always knows what’s ahead.  God is in charge of the universe whether I like it or not.  Anytime and every time I try to lead my own life, following my own will instead of God’s, I become tired, and stressed. What a joy to discover that God wants to lead all of us to abundant life!  My job, then, as a follower of Christ, is to pay attention to the leading of God’s Spirit through prayer, study, worship, and service.  Let us celebrate the dance of eternal life!

Prayer focus:  dancers

Prayer:  Lord, help me to seek your will and not my own.  Open my heart and mind to ways that I might follow you in every aspect of my life.

God the Divine Mechanic

 

“O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.”  Psalm 30:1 (NRSV)

                                                           

For a number of years, I have been driving a very old car that has many miles, dents, and scratches.  One day I took the car to a local mechanic because it was making a disturbing noise. I feared that the car was beyond repair.   I was delighted when the smiling mechanic returned my keys a few moments later, explaining that the car was fine.  I inquired about the noise.  He said, “You mean this noise?”  Then he mimicked the sound from somewhere deep within his throat and explained that it was a hose that he had easily repaired. 

On the way home, I reflected on the fact that I had driven the car for so long and yet knew so little about its internal workings.   Yet, this mechanic knew every part of the car. He understood its inner workings.  He heard its cry and healed its brokenness.  It occurred to me that God is like a Divine Mechanic who knows us better than we know ourselves and desires for us to be whole.  When we pray in times of distress, God the Creator, who put us together, hears our cries of brokenness and offers healing. 

Prayer focus:  those who feel broken.

Prayer:  Lord, we pray that you will hear our cries and heal the brokenness in our lives.  We pray for healing of our hearts and healing of our broken relationships.  Amen