I’m not one to dance like nobody’s watching. Mostly because I don’t want to watch it either. But I do sing loud. And big. Sometimes with motions. So while I might not necessarily dance like no one is watching, I have been known to sing like I’m vacuuming.
A couple of months ago, I did accidentally bust a few new moves, but it was because a bug flew into my hair. That was some sweet choreography. Embarrassing, sure. I didn’t even know I had those moves. A couple of my kids saw it, as a matter of fact. And then they begged me to put those moves away and never pull them out again. It was worth the bug in the hair just for that.
I heard it was Charles Baudelaire who said, “Dancing is poetry with arms and legs.” He obviously never saw my moves. Either that or he was super bad at poetry. So hold on, Charles. Sorry, but this could be one more little proof that we can’t believe everything we hear.
When it comes to walking out this life in faith, we can’t believe everything we hear there either. Those who don’t follow Christ will tell you that if you do all your stepping just so—if you have just the right look, the right family, the right houses and cars and things—if you have all the right moves in all the right places—then your life will be a graceful dance. They’ll tell you that when you know the right people and can say the right words in the right way, that’s when life will be good.
Sadly, you don’t have to try the world’s way for very long before figuring out that those moves make up a dance that’s everything awkward. It ends not just in embarrassment, but in emptiness. Relying on things and power and self to make us happy will always end in that vacuum. With no singing.
How do we find the remedy for that emptiness, in the most graceful, spin-and-swing-and-whirl-of-joy way? Not in our culture. Not on our own. It begins in His Word. “Make my steps steady through Your promise; don’t let any sin dominate me,” (Psalm 119:133 HCSB). Our choice here? Let evil govern our steps. Or let the Lord. “Through Your promise” means “by Your Word.” And the indication in the original language is that the psalmist isn’t actually talking about our own sinful nature here, though that’s a battle we never take lightly. But this refers to sinful influence. He’s asking for deliverance from the dominance of evil people.
All too often in life’s dance we take our cues from others who would love nothing more than to lead us off in some wrong direction. In that same psalm, we read, “I have kept my feet from every evil path to follow Your word,” (vs. 101, HCSB). It means literally “I hold back my feet.” Hold on, feet. Do the right thing. We have to give the Word of God a place of prominence and let it lead in how we think and act and live—every step.
As we do, oh what a difference! “Abundant peace belongs to those who love Your instruction; nothing makes them stumble,” (Psalm 119:165, HCSB). It’s the difference between peacefully and gracefully moving through a day, and stumbling embarrassingly out of control.
Poetry in motion. Or plummeting in an awkward commotion. Because seriously, some moves are never meant to be busted.