Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dancing in the Rain (or Snow...)

I think I am learning...hopefully!  We, my Pastor-love and I, took dance lessons in the fall.  We didn't always do it perfectly, but then again, some evenings it was just hilarious fun, as we made mistakes together and kept dancing...even when the songs were over... or the beat wasn't keeping up with us ;)  ('Like how I phrased that?)  But life has been a challenge lately...and I am not as good of a life-dancer as I had hoped.  There are unexpected turns in this road I am on, and I am begging for more grace some days before I even get started on my long commute. 

But something in me has changed.  I am tired of complaining and whining, and I want a new perspective, a new heart and attitude, in the middle of this.  The best part is that I am reminded that God wants that for me too 
(from Ezekiel 36, 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.)

...and here before me lies a challenge to accept...will I choose joy in the midst of struggle, or will I grumble, mumble, and complain, staying lost on the backside of the desert?

I think I see the 'Red Sea' parting just a bit up ahead, and Egypt is getting further behind me, but I must keep choosing.  Will I walk forward into the unknown, or get swept up in the confusing swirls of my doubt, being tossed about?  5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. --James 1 (NIV)

Choosing joy over doubt, faith over confusion, and love over selfishness are the things I need to be about, but I am out of practice.  Somehow I have slowly become more about me than about anyone else, it seems....and God is gracious to call me back...wooing me...insisting in some ways, that I REMEMBER...remember Who He is, who I am, and what this is all about.  I am a slow learner.  Could I have gotten comfortable?  How could I?  How could I have forgotten His miraculous deliverance so many times, His patient, radical and pursuing love, his gentle and sometimes urgent reminders, and all the stories we have written on this journey together.  He reminds me that the road is long, that we are only getting started, in some ways, and that Hope does not disappoint... 

(3And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
 4and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
 5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us, Romans 5, NASB)

I am happy that my Dance Instructor believes in me.  That is what it will take to keep going, keep giving myself over to His good purposes, and learning to dance in the storms and icy cold days that may come.  He warms my heart, and reminds me that summer is just around the corner.  Today I am thankful:  thankful for a job lead for my Love, thankful for warm tea in oodles of flavors...thankful for friends who open up their hearts and homes to me, thankful for family who join in my rejoicing for this engagement season, thankful for a chance to love children whose hearts are in need of Jesus, thankful for freedom to worship, for a calling to love and be loved...the list goes on and on....and I am thankful because I want to learn how to dance.  RP

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