Practice Before Dancing
On my study wall is a partial print of Degas’s ballet dancers at the practice barre. They are stretching their muscles in preparation for the dance. The barre is not where they intend to stay. It is where they get ready for the real goal: the dance.
Years ago a friend suggested this image for our lives of faith. As we study and pray, practice a daily routine of listening for God, we do not intend to stay in our solitude, but prepare ourselves for the work to which we are called in response to God’s word.
These are good images for our church, I think. Let’s ask ourselves these questions as we move into a new year:
- Are there ways we have jumped into the dance without proper stretching at the barre? Have we not allowed time for Bible study and discussion? In other words, are we are so eager to get to doing that we ignore time for listening for guidance from one who knows us so well? Are there times we start dancing without the proper stretching of the muscles we’ll need for the steps and patterns required by the dance.
- Are there times we have stayed safely in the practice room and not ventured onto the dance floor? This is the opposite of number one above: avoiding the action and the actual dance and keeping to our practice routines.
What are your intentions for 2012 as we journey together in faith? Call them resolutions for the New Year or call them choreography for our dance of faith. Or even call them a game plan if you like. Whatever – let’s just do it!