March 26, 2012
Dancing is such a wonderful way to express praise to God. I remember the first time I saw “Chorus Line” and heard the song, “Everything Was Beautiful at the Ballet”. The song talks about how reality can sometimes be ugly and confused, but the ballet was beautiful and fluid and pure. I know many at Summerfield really resonate with music, but for me one of the core experiences of music is the way it makes me want to move. It makes me feel like I could be a beautiful thing before God, not just ugly and confused.
Being in our house is often somewhat like being in a musical. One person is humming and then another notices and sings along. It is not long before there is dancing and we have the Sharks and the Jets in the kitchen, Frankie Valli on the trampoline, or a production from Mama Mia in the family room. It is an ongoing manifestation of Joie de Vive.
Joie de Vive, the joy of life is something we sometimes forget in the busyness of 21st century living, in the church, and even more so in Lent. It sometimes feels as if we are supposed to spend all of Lent pretending to be sad, when that is not really the call for this season at all. Certainly a reflection on mortality and death is a part of this season, but the joy cannot be repressed because we know that Easter is ultimately upon us. As Christians we are Easter people, always and everywhere. We are people who have been promised resurrected life.
So dance. When was the last time you did that? For many of us it may have been at a party, but that may not count if you were doing it to meet expectations or to conform. The point of dancing is to abandon fear and guilt and to communicate with God in a way that is physical and primal. It could be joyful, angry, even sad. As long as it is a genuine expression of emotion it counts. Go find the music that you feel right now. What is the perfect sound-track for this moment? Dance to that. Speak to God in abandon. Feel the Holy Spirit within you. This is one of the many ways God gives to us humans to feel a deeper sense of spiritual connection. If you have never prayed without moving, now is the time. Pray it all out of you, and see how you feel when the music is done, your body is exhausted, and you have squeezed out all of your emotions. I bet it will be good. I bet you will want to try it again. I bet you will be glad that you tried. Go ahead, dance!