Saturday, July 16, 2011

Failing follower

My husband is an amazing dancer, he took several semesters of ballroom in college and was even asked to compete on the University of Oklahoma's ballroom dancing team. He also can cook, likes to go to musicals and on the more testosteroney side of the coin he can build a fence and change the oil in a car. Yes, I am aware that I hit the husband jackpot.

Last night at my cousin's wedding we hit the dance floor, not super serious waltzing or tango-ing but something light and casual. I must admit that I am the perfect counterpart to my husband, in that I have two left feet which become even clumsier in high heels after a few glasses of wine. But I dance almost constantly regardless. Back to last night, we were dancing and spinning away when my husband caught my eye, pulled me close and said "so, are you ever going to trust me to lead? You insist on spinning yourself, when I promise you you'll have more fun and spin plenty if you would follow my lead."

The object lesson that can be drawn from this brief conversation isn't hidden too deeply and it struck me on a marriage level and on a God level almost instantaneously. Dancing is an amazing image for life because it requires little steps that add up to something extraordinary and unique. It struck me how very little I trust a leader in my life's dance.

Metaphorically I get out on the dance floor, get excited about a song and immediately buy into the belief that if I don't shake my tail feather, twirl and throw my hands up in the air sometimes, good times won't come my way. I have adapted in such a way that following a leader and trusting someone else to navigate my steps has become a revolutionary concept to me. I don't think I am alone in this. I think many of us believe that if we don't lead the dance, it's not going to go anywhere.

I have some big ideas on the horizon of my life, and I hope that you do too. I am feeling called to new tasks, people and places. But Ironically even though I feel a call, I don't trust the caller to lead me through the dance at all. Deep down I am coming to realize that I believe that only I can lead myself to happiness. Which is prideful, dangerous and kinda dumb.

So, are you struggling to follow a leader in some aspect of your life? Or maybe you're like me and you're struggling to think of an aspect of your life where you succeed in following at all. The next step in mastering the dance is to admit it, and to talk to someone about it. Certainly pray about it and keep exposing that truth about yourself so you can stare it in the face and put it in its rightful place, which is probably in the garbage can on the curve.

I am coming to realize in my heart that the leader of the dance can take me to graceful and beautiful places that I can't shimmy my way into alone.

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