Sunday, November 4, 2012


It has been very long since I wrote. I have been too busy tripping over my own feet.

Dance! says Sally Lloyd-Jones in the beginning of her new book Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing.

In the beginning, God sang everything into being– for the joy of it– and set the whole universe dancing.
God was in the center, at the heart of everything.
Like the dance of the planets before the sun– turning, spinning, circling, wheeling, revolving, orbiting around and around– God made everything in his world and in his universe and in his children's hearts to center around him– in a wonderful Dance of Joy!
It's the Dance you were born for.

I read that on the stay-at-home while sister and mother and nieces and nephew went to the zoo day, the husband-has-sinus-infection day, the brain-tired body-tired heart-tired day. The tiredness has been insidious in the last month; like a creeping weed, kudzu or poison-ivy, choking everything else. I opened the new book that my sister brought as a late-birthday present, and I read, and I began to cry.

I had lost the steps to the Dance.

There are lots of ways to lose them, but the fastest is to try to put myself at the center of the Dance.

The Pilot is fully immersed in training by now, which means very long days, and study-nights, and getting up in the morning dark. Time together is chopped– I feel resentment. If I were in charge of this Dance, the Air Force would value our time together more!

And I trip.

The end of college– I've reached the last circus-ring to cross, and I shuffle along grumbling about the the last set of hoops to jump through, the class I don't like, the teacher who doesn't care, the assignments that don't make sense. If I were in charge of this Dance, school would be about learning the things I want to learn!

And I trip.

Housework and planning meals. We eat a prodigious amount of food. And somehow the floors and the bathrooms keep getting dirty. Shouldn't housework come before hanging-out-with-friends? If I were in charge...

... and I trip.

Shouldn't I be happy? There is nothing really wrong, is there?
But my heart isn't singing and my feet aren't dancing. There is something wrong.

What if the planets put themselves at the center instead of the sun... We put ourselves in God's place... and now our hearts are out of step with God and the universe and each other and our own selves.

Child-simple. I read and I cried, because I wanted to dance again. I wanted my heart to be full of song, not grumbling and tiredness and selfishness. I want Joy– not fleeting height of emotion, not security from good circumstances, but Joy rich and thick and lasting, Joy that doesn't melt with the Pilot's long days or college circus-hoops or housework. Joy to know and believe and cling to, dig in with fingers and toes and clutch with my soul.

Well. Sally Lloyd-Jones said something about that, too. Sometimes I wish all theology was written in a style for children like this book is. It's so much easier for me to understand.

But God had a Plan.
And a Rescuer... Jesus would come to take the cataclysm of our sin into his own heart. 
And lead us back into the Dance of Joy.

Can I ever get away from it– this leading back to Jesus, always? Of course not– because every trip and miss-step is a Savior's gentle invitation to let Him lead me back to my proper place in the Dance. As long as I try to make myself the center, I cannot have Joy.

But if I step back and start following His lead–

John Piper explains it this way: God created us for this: to live our lives in a way that makes him look more like the greatness and the beauty and the infinite worth that he really is.

So the chopped-husband-time and the tiredness and the last-college-class and the housework and meals can be part of the dance: these things that swell resentment in me are part of a life, my life, the life that can dance beauty before a beautiful God. If I let myself. If I follow the steps, take the eyes of my heart off myself and onto the Leader of the Dance– who will dance with me into Joy everlasting. 

1 comment:

  1. I remember those days
    And those hard learnings
    90-hour husband work weeks
    On top of classes
    That followed a courtship spend apart
    I cried alone
    And I cried when he was home
    And he was perplexed and said, "But I'm here now."