One Shoe Dance

dance, distraction, perseveranceEmily is passionate about Highland Dancing. She works hard and was starting to “place” in competitions. One of the dances was more of a challenge than the others.

In the Sword Dance, two swords are placed on the floor in a cross pattern. The complicated dance steps move between and around each quadrant. Avoiding contact with the swords adds another layer of difficulty. Demerit points are issued if one is touched.

At one competition Emily took her place behind the swords. The piper started playing. In the first eight beats of music she prepared for the dance by positioning herself and placing hands on hips. In the next eight beats she made eye contact with the adjudicator and gave a slight bow. Eight more beats and with arms high above her head, the dance started.dance, missing shoe

As Emily executed the intricate steps, the lace on her right shoe started to loosen. Soon the shoe was completely untied. Instead of being distracted, she kept her focus – even when the shoe worked its way completely off of her foot. Her steps remained quick and accurate. The dance ended, Emily bowed again to the adjudicator and smiled as she picked up her shoe. She had completed the dance without touching a sword. Even better, she “placed” in the sword dance that day.

Emily’s focus and determination taught me an important lesson. Unexpected challenges may come my way but I don’t need to let them stop me. If I focus on my goal rather than the distraction, I, too, can end up a winner.

Dance Steps

dance steps photoIt must have been part of a dream that I don’t quite remember, but I woke up thinking about dancing. The thoughts drifted in and out of my mind all day long. The more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that my life is like being at a dance.

Sometimes my life is in measured steps, like a technical dance routine. Everything seems to be choreographed and I need to pay careful attention to keep up with it.

Other times it is slow and sweet, as I move in perfect harmony with my partner. These steps need to be savored as the dance is ever changing.

Next I get to the dance of frenzied activity. The movements are energetic and enjoyable, but it’s a pace I can’t keep up for extended periods.

There are also times when it feels like I am out of step, and just not quite in synch with those around me. Do I stress about this or realize that perhaps this is a dance I need to sit out and just observe.

The music changes and a new dance begins. There are challenging new steps to master. It’s all part of the adventure. As long as I keep in step with God, my life will be a dance to honor him.

Praise his name with dancing, accompanied by tambourine and harp. Psalm 149:3 NLT