As I’ve rolled on through these three months of being in the UK, I’ve come to appreciate so many things. I have come to value how truly blessed I am when I’m in the presence of other people…even if I feel like I don’t want to be. I value the amazing gift of human contact, and have really seen how it re-energizes me and my faith. It’s amazing…the healing power of a simple hand shake, or a pat on the back. Even at my lowest points, I am teaching myself that living out this time in my life amounts to all of the small things. They really add up. Instead of languishing and second guessing choices I’ve made, I’m trying to pace myself and not try so hard to see the “big picture”…what is that anyways?
I read somewhere that life is made up of this long “dance” we’re having with God. Once upon a time (I’m acting like I’m old or something), I took a ball room dancing class, and I definitely struggled the whole way through. My friends would make fun of me because I was always the one in the back, three steps behind everyone else. Now I tell people, unashamed, that my hips DEFINITELY lie. But, one thing I learned, is that if you have a good leading dance partner, things won’t turn out quite as disastrously as you anticipated they would be. If you worry so much about counting your steps and getting the right foot work, all you’re going to do is break your partner’s poor toe. No one wants that. Me, being the mere mortal that I am, always anticipate things WAY too far in advance. I’m missing the next step, because I’m looking four steps ahead and trying to see what’s going to happen. It is ritual for my host family here to sit down in front of the TV on a saturday night and watch “Strictly come dancing!” Which is like “Dancing with the stars” in the States. My mom and sister LOVE to watch that show, so sometimes I feel like I’m home in spirit. At the beginning of the season, the “contestants” kind of, well….suck. They’ve never danced before. But eventually towards the end of the season, you see these beautifully choreographed dances and think “WOW! They’ve gotten so good!” It’s because every day, with practice, they’re becoming more graceful, and flowing freely with the steps and the rhythm of the music.
I agree with the person who wrote that quote. I don’t want to keep looking at the floor and counting my steps only to figure out I missed the whole dance. I want to feel the music, and flow with the beautiful rhythm of life. Even if I’m still learning, I know God is there leading me every step of the way.
I want to look at each day, horrible or not….and take away at least one good thing I did from that day. One thing I’m thankful for. In one whole crappy day, there’s always a God moment. We just need to choose to see how God is playing in our lives, even if we aren’t necessarily getting all the steps right….at least it’s a life WE’RE living in a relationship with him..or her.
A handshake, a hug, singing a song I actually know in choir, playing with a child that absolutely adores you, or having a nice conversation with a friendly person, a brisk walk/run in the cold weather…These are all little things I am beginning to appreciate more. The things keeping me grounded, and in the moment. There isn’t just one month out of the year to sit down and be thankful. Theres a whole lifetime to get into step with. To see beauty in every day is a real challenge, but it’s so worth it….because I am seeing God in all of the little things that life has to offer me.