Friday, December 30, 2011

Magic Dancing Shoes

“And now, I’m glad I didn’t know

the way it all would end,

The way it all would go.

Our lives are better left to chance;

I could have missed the pain,

But I’d have had to miss the dance.”

-“The Dance” (sung by Garth Brooks)

(written by Tony Arata)

I was watching Sesame Street the other day (because that’s the only thing you can do when you have a three month old and a three year old and your sweet three year old decides to wake you before the sun has come up), and they had on an episode that I’ve seen a few times before. It’s a story I think we’ve all heard some version of, but on Sesame Street Gonegan the fairy wishes he could dance but doesn’t think that he is able. He’s given some magic dancing shoes and has to chase them around the room. The moves he does while trying to catch the shoes actually are dance moves…he didn’t really need the shoes at all, but the “magic dancing shoes” allowed him to dance and eventually showed him that he never even needed them…he was able to dance the whole time.

Older folks always seem to say things like they don’t regret the bad things in their life because they made them who they are, and I’ve had a hard time wrapping my mind around that idea. There are things that have happened in my life that I just wish hadn’t; I felt like in my fantasy of how my life would be perfect, if those things had never happened I might be different, better somehow, and wouldn’t have had to feel the pain.

But I had this moment last week when I realized about a specific instance in my life that I wished had never happen because the aftermath was so painful, that this very thing actually helped me to realize some potential and gain confidence in myself that I definitely did not possess before. My confidence began by leaning on an unstable foundation, but even when that foundation fell, those gifts were still within me as long as I was submitted to God. They were God given strengths that I didn’t know were within me until I found this “prop” to lean on…and once I had built the strength and muscle, I could stand tall in these, firmly rooted in Christ without the prop to hold me up.

I feel a bit like a tree that’s been newly planted in the yard. At first I needed some help to stand, but eventually I can weather the storm without the ties because my roots are spreading further and further in the foundation of the Lord.

Painful things will happen in our lives, and the things that we counted on (people and things) will let us down. But God is still on His throne, and He prides Himself by making something beautiful out of the dust.

God is our hiding place; He will protect us from trouble and surround us with songs of deliverance. (Psalm 32:7) Songs we can dance to, like we never knew we could dance before. So “I might have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance.”

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