Time to Dance

One of my regrets from my high school years is that I never learned to dance. I smile when I think about those years. I wanted to belong and enjoy the high school experience so I attended the dances...but I never danced. I was so insecure and self-conscious in those years I was afraid I would embarrass myself. Never mind that everyone else in the gym was in the same position. Okay, I was also afraid of asking a date to the dance. To complicate things I grew up in a church culture that believed dancing dishonored the name of Christ. So during a time when my insecurity was greater than my maturity my adopted 'convictions' about dancing gave me a very spiritual excuse for watching. I attended the dances and watched, longing to dance but never dancing.

My thinking about Kingdom living has been turned upside down in recent years. The series from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount has deeply impacted me. Last week as I thought about Jesus' invitation to embrace a Kingdom way of life (stirred by seeing Matthew 7:13-14 as an invitation to a 'way of life' not simply a 'way of belief') I felt the longing to dance again...to follow Jesus into the fulfillment of this Kingdom way of life with freedom and abandon. I confess that it feels clumsy and awkward at times. I have so much to learn...so much to unlearn.  But growing within me is a passion to push through all my reasons for not following Jesus onto the dance floor - my fears, my insecurities, my tendencies to be self-conscious and my desire to please certain voices within the Christian community. Also growing within me is a deep desire to see our church family learn to dance with newfound freedom and abandon - learning to worship with more abandon, learning to love one another with more abandon, learning to serve our community with more abandon. 

I no longer want to attend the dance only to watch others dance,  longing to dance but never dancing. I want to dance.

Fighting for your hearts,

Gary Franklin

Reflections for your spiritual journey:

1. Do you have a sense that you are watching others follow Jesus with more freedom and abandon?  What does it stir within you?

2. Reflect on what causes you to 'hold back' in following Jesus with greater freedom and abandon?

3. Take some time this week to give each of those areas over to Christ asking Him to release you from each area.

4. Then renew your heart's desire to follow Jesus with freedom and abandon?