Prayer is a dangerous thing. Before you know it, you get answers and instructions that you couldn't even imagine praying for.
For two days now, I've gotten an instruction that seems, at least to me, a bit ridiculous. As I've been laying in bed, praying that God will work through me and open my eyes in the coming day, I've heard "Dance before the Lord." My mind has been flooded with songs that talk about dancing, including "The Lord of the Dance" and John Michael Talbots "Canticle of the Sun"--which says "Come Dance in the forest, come play in the fields." (You can see it on youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch v=OGMIjwf0SVw )
Certainly, King David danced before the Lord-- the ESV says "David danced before the Lord with all his might." The message renders it as "David danced before the Lord with great abandon." Well, that's lovely. I've always enjoyed that mental picture and believed that folks shoud dance a jig of joy before the Lord. Other folks...not me.
"So You Think You Can Dance" is nowhere on my radar, because I know I can't. When it comes to dancing, I'm a frozen chosen to the core. I have no rhythm. I thought that spending 3 months in Kenya would help me get some rhythm, and at the beginning of my time there, the kids assured me they could help. But by time I left, we all knew that rhythm was nowhere in my future. I would argue that my heart is just about as joyful as anyone's, but I don't dance.
But what do I do with the instructions that have been given me? Maybe it's not about physically dancing, though if God has that in my future, I'd say miracles certainly still happen. But maybe it's about submitting all of my days to the rhythm of God's movement in my life. Maybe it's about coming before the Lord with erruptive Joy that can't be contained.
"Graceland" is the name of my favorite song and album. It's by Paul Simon, but more importantly, it's what "home" sounds and feels like to me. We always listened to this album as we traveled from my home in Tennessee to my parents' childhood homes in Florida. But today, it's also a pretty good snapshot of my theology. Somewhere I really believe that the Christian journey is all about a wild trip to Grace-land. As I see it, Grace-land is the place where God is waiting to meet even us–with all the baggage and brokeness that we tote with us. Grace-land is the place where we will be received with open arms, even though our attempts at “getting it right” have been miserable failures at best. But, I think, every step we take is a step on the journey to Graceland.