We had a great conversation, but I continued to think it about long after we parted. This week I want to share with you what has been on my heart regarding abiding in Christ. This is the imagery that was so vivid to me...
I love to dance with Scott (my husband) more than anything! I get so excited when we have a wedding, or some event, when I know there will be an open dance floor. I don’t like the usual "young people (or "young at heart") dancing, but I love it when he takes me in his arms and leads me around the dance floor.
In the moments, when I can forget myself and any self-conscience thought about others watching, I totally relax and the dance is effortless. I feel so graceful (even though I’m not) and it’s so easy… I’m completing trusting him and letting him guide me. And it doesn’t take much to guide me, a slight shift in the direction of his shoulders, the change of the pressure of his hand on my back, the nudges are so subtle, no one else can see them, but it is so easy to follow him. I don’t worry that we’ll run into anyone, no matter how crowded the dance floor is, because I trust him to guide me. I go where he goes, my steps perfectly mirror his. And the really cool thing is, I’ve been married to him so long, I’ve danced with him so many times, it just gets easier and easier because I know him so well and I care less and less what other people think!
But over the years, there have been many times when I’ve remembered where we are and what we’re doing and I tense up and start worrying about getting it right. It’s then that I trip over his feet, lose my step or cause us to run into someone. In other words, I try to take over the leading and it becomes somewhat of a tug-a-war! It’s awkward, uncomfortable and not so much fun anymore.
There is an interesting question though… While Jesus is the one with the responsibility to lead, I am not without responsibility. How do I live the life He’s called me to, without taking the lead? When am I following His leading and when am I taking matters into my own hands? I think the word that sums it up might be intent. When I dance with Scott, I have to be intentional about letting him lead, I have to choose and then willingly submit to him. I have to resist the urge to control our direction, or worry about the obstacles around us. I have to pay attention and realize when I’ve taken over the dance and choose to follow again. And if we dance often, his guidance becomes more and more natural and easy to follow.
And it's the same with abiding in Jesus... the longer we dance with Him (abide) the easier it becomes to sense His guiding, His subtle nudges, His gentle shift in direction... We can trust Him to lead us through life's obstacles and when we stumble, or try to take over, we don't have to leave the dance floor, we just have to relax back into His Spirit and let Him have the lead again... every moment holds a choice, will I abide with my Savior? Or will I take control and do it my way?
May this be a year we all learn to dance!