The Dance of Life

Years of Sunday nights at the Oasis on Lake Travis listening to the Brew, the local Austin band play salsa rhythms for all listening ears and for feet ready to move to it. One, two, three…five, six, and seven.

This past year has provided me the opportunity to attend salsa classes for the first time in my life and I love it. Addicting is what it is.

In class, the teacher reiterates over and over my hands are not mine while dancing with another person and especially in salsa dancing, the guy leads and directs the ladies hands towards the next turn or step. It’s not my job to decide when or where I go directionally next. It is my responsibility to match the cadence of the person I dance with and follow their lead. Honestly, I must admit that it’s hard for me to follow the person I’m dancing with sometimes. When I stop thinking about that reality, I find myself lost in the music doing my own thing and not paying attention to the guy’s leading.

To be a good dancer and to dance well as a partner, I have to leave control, direction and speed to the guy. In spite of the reality that it’s hard for me to follow, this is a constant reminder for me to relax and follow, learning to enjoy the journey of what step or direction I take next.

This also rings true in my faith walk – I have to give Jesus control of my hands, relax and let Him have control of my life. In the dance of life, He is the one that guides me. In the same way I struggle with following the guy that I dance with, I struggle with trying to control the directions and steps of my own life. I desire to feel the ground solidly beneath my feet, making sure that every step is firm and that I don’t lose my balance. I don’t want things to get pulled out from under me, but sometimes that’s exactly what life does. I know that in the past my feet have always come down or my path has always been cleared before me. At the same time, I struggle and doubt. I don’t fully follow.

I think I know how things should go… I want to do it my way. I want God to be in control, but then I don’t want him. But God wants my full surrender. – This means I must lay my desires down, my agenda and ask Him to have His way. In the great paradox of freedom, we find life by giving our life to Christ.

Nicole Unice in her book, She’s Got Issues states that God has “invited (us) to a deep place of contentment that balances our responsibility with God’s grace and guidance. When we find this place, we will neither try to dominate the world nor be helpless victims. This middle place isn’t free from pain, but it is full of peace.” (39)

Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us that God has a different perspective than ours. “Indeed, my plans are not like your plans, and my deeds are not like 26 your deeds, for just as the sky is higher than the earth, so my deeds are superior to your deeds and my plans superior to your plans. God directed the nation of Israel on their path towards him as seen in Isaiah 30:20-21.

What about you? How are you doing in the dance with God? As I work to daily surrender my desire for control and my desires to Him, I pray that you will do this with me, listen to His voice, follow His lead and walk in this dance with Him each day.