i'm not a dancer. i wish i was... one time i remember watching dancers on youtube and being so incredibly moved by the sheer artistry and grace.
i'm more of a wiggle my bum and poke my index fingers in the air type dancer... it's not very inspiring.
This morning i got to thinking about the two steps that i want to take - in my longing to dance for Him... and how the power of one underscores the beauty of the other. The steps weave together constantly in our choices, our lifestyle, our responses and even ultimately in our desires... and so i thought i would write about the stumbling dance i am attempting.
i love the book of Romans - and the tongue twister that Paul included in chapter 7... "For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing."
And it seems so complex - this being a daughter of the King... how can i choose to do right, when wrong is constantly looming? And He takes me by the tips of my fingers and leads in a simple dance - a simple dance that is life and peace.
With a deep breath, i take that first step - i want to choose not to do the things that are wrong. Not in a stubborn, prideful legalistic glut - but in humility, recognizing that i am my Papa's child - and that in His Great Love, He speaks only truth. So a husband refrains from beating his wife. The thief doesn't steal. The liar doesn't lie. The killer doesn't kill. Evil is kept at bay by simple restraint, because the impulse to sin is not acted upon... because my bonds to my Creator - the bonds that allow me to call Him Father - are greater than the bondage that would hold me in sin. And tentatively - one foot leaves the ground... the music swells around us - and our delicate dance has begun. It will feel different to be the one choosing - not - to do the things that are wrong. It requires acting on information that is different than our emotionally charged feelings, and instead trusting a Faithful Father who leads. This first step might bring difficult conversations as restraint is sometimes seen as judgement, but i've learned that i don't need to be afraid of difficult conversations - they're often learning experiences for me; teaching me to speak with gentleness and humility because my own ignorance is overwhelming - but He never fails to be right and just.
And the power of choosing not to... so gently leads me to the second step; the beauty of choosing to do what is good. And sometimes in exhaustion we snap to the ones we love, "Isn't it enough that i'm not like so and so? i don't do this - and i've stayed away from that..." But the sweetness of the trustful two-step comes not only from the man refraining from beating his wife - it requires him taking the second step to do good to her. The thief doesn't steal, he gives. The liar doesn't lie, he tells the truth. The killer doesn't kill, he speaks out on behalf of the vulnerable.
And one step just seems strange without the other. Those who do good without refraining from evil aren't trustworthy - and those who refrain from evil without doing good have missed out by only having gone half way too.
And so i'll try to teach my little ones - dancer though i'm not - to take both steps in this breathtaking two-step, listening to His whisper in our ears, and following where He leads.