As always, it was early in the morning when I had another one of my brilliant, but inspired, realizations. In this case, the realization came to me while in the midst of dancing at a Bachata Fest. Which, I might add, was really, really fun. Anyway, I was dancing to one of my favorite Bachata songs, when it suddenly hit me that life is like a dance. My instant thought? “That is so cliche.” But the longer I have thought about it, the longer I’m convinced that a dance is a great metaphor for life. Here’s why.
In a Latin dance, it is pretty typical to dance with more than one person. Most of the time, the people you dance with are complete strangers. And, as is the norm, you usually only dance with a person once. But here’s the thing. With each new person, you have to figure out the way they move, their steps, the way they lead, etc. And, for me, it usually takes most of a song (which, in Latin dancing, is typically a mash-up of three or four songs) to get those person’s steps down pat. Sometimes, it would seem silly to say goodbye when I had just mastered the steps of my partner. But that’s where courage comes in. The courage to move on to something better. Or, the courage to say goodbye. To have faith that there will be another song, and another partner.
Now, let me be quick to say that a partner is not necessarily a person (i.e. a boyfriend/girlfriend). A partner can be a job, a chapter in life, a school, etc. It can be a representative of basically anything.
Moving on. As the night progressed, there were moments where I would find myself sitting on the sidelines with my friends. No partners were in site, though the room was full of people. At moments like these, I would either feel slightly disappointed, tired, or pleased. Such is life. There are times when opportunities seems abudant, but, day after day (song after song), those opportunities fall through. It becomes easy to be discouraged and disappointed. Other times, sitting on the sidelines away from the action is a reprive. A welcome moment. A time to focus on reviving ourselves and to focus on the opportunities and people around us. A time to plan our next steps, and to enjoy the people we are with and the moment we are in.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if those moments alone could be enjoyed whether we chose to be alone or not? Just a hint…they can. In life, it is important to remember that the fate of our dance is not left to a DJ or to random happenstance. No. It is up to a loving God who knows us better than we know ourselves. A God who knows when a break is needed – whether we think that break is needed or not. A God who also knows the best time for the next partner to step in. And which partner should always stay.
It is my testimony that God lives. Though I do not always see the way, I know that if I put my trust in the Lord, that my steps will never be led astray. As I learned this night, it truly is important to enjoy the moment of life we are in. Whether it be a new dance, a new partner, or a break. We are where we are for our growth and betterment, difficult though it may be. I, myself, still have a lot to learn, and a lot of patience to build. But I know that as I strive to do what is right, the Lord will never leave me hanging on the sidelines. I know that we all have a purpose. We all have a role to play. And, with the Lord’s help, we will get there one small dance step at a time.
R. J. Carr