Being a dancer “is one of the most difficult jobs. It is like the life of an ephemeral, this specific butterfly. We’re ugly at the beginning, but someone can see through our shell and help us grow… To finally die after few hours enjoying our gorgeous wings and technique to fly. But it is also a beautiful way to spend your life. It is worth the very hard work. When you go on stage, you’re giving your emotions to the world, you can express your inner world, become a goddess, die and then kill, transform yourself over and over again. …Don’t be afraid to throw your soul to your audience, if you want this sort of life.'” – Charlotte Landreau, Martha Graham Dance Company (NYC Dance Project – Artists without Borders) (see image below)
In the finale dance scene from the movie Strictly Ballroom the music is cut in order to prevent the couple from continuing their dance. Scott, the male main character, remembers Fran’s (the female lead) grandmother encouraging him, “Listen to the Rhythm. Don’t be scared!” He pauses a moment to gather himself and, despite the lack of audible music, the two finish the dance and all those present are in an uproar at the sheer beauty of the performance. This ability to listen in our hearts is the key to being able to follow in the dance.
When we focus on what we want and what we need we can have a tendency to forget what we already have. Last night I had a moment that reminded me again of the beauty of living in the present.
Lately I have been a nervous wreck. I’m finally full term pregnant with #4 and it feels like I’m a First Time Mom all over again. I’ve been worried and anxious and even started hallucinating about about being in labor, but still nothing. I have been freaking out about my older three kids being sick right as baby is due and how germy my house will be. My anxiousness and impatience has been zapping what little energy I have and causing me to be a bit of a grouchy wife and mama.
Nathan Greene ArtIn order to learn how to dance with God, we have to recognize that the ultimate key factor is learning to Follow. When we learn to follow we learn to recognize that, as obvious as it might seem, we are not in the lead, that God is either our partner or our Instructor. Either way, He is the one in charge. He is the one who is displaying His strength by showing off our beauty (or, for you guys, the one showing you how to be strong). (See with God).
So, all these dance steps are essentially tips on teaching us how to follow, how to recognize cues, how to see them as beautiful and beneficial to us rather than controlling.
Fr. Al Lauer from Presentation Ministries gave a beautiful meditation on the feast of St. Martha on busy-ness. He explained how busy-ness can be a healthy and beautiful thing if we are called to it, but that the moment it takes us away from Christ and the peace he wants to offer us, then our busy-ness is no longer godly.
Is there a way to KNOW God loves you? Ever felt like saying “… it’s been such a crappy day/week/month/year/life that it sure doesn’t feel like it”? If we are struggling with the question of lovability, hearing about God’s love for you can almost feel nauseating in its commonality. We can’t even get away from the cheesy emoticon bumper-stickers that say “Smile, God loves you!” and most of the time it feels like people are “just saying that”. Is there a way to get past that?
I am a worrier. I worry about everything. I worry about every single decision I make, from what to make for dinner to whether or not I should spend those $20 extra at the grocery store. I worry about my abilities as a wife and a mother. I worry about my eating habits, my weight, my beauty and my ability to be loved. I worry about my children and their futures. I worry about my husband and his health. I worry about the health of my relationships with friends and family members. I worry about my problems and other people’s problems ’til I can’t sleep at night. But there is one thing I no longer worry about
The first question this obviously leads to is, what is God’s will for us? We think of it as something scary, oppressive, controlling. When we consider following God’s will, we tend to think only of rules and regulations. We think of lines like, “Whomever wants to come after me must take up his cross and follow me” (Mt. 16:24) and of having to do hard things and give up what we are most attached to. We think of having to change. We think of Job, Lazarus and Calvary. How could that possibly make us happy? What’s in it for me if I’m called to “die to myself” (Mk. 8:35, Jn. 12:24, etc)?