Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dancers, present your bodies a living sacrifice

I am teaching a class tomorrow at Saddleback for their dance ministry and I'm so nervous!!!

Why?  I've danced a zillion times in a zillion venues.  I have danced in worship since I first realized I could, and I prefer dancing to Him far above cruise ships, Disneyland, theater, whatever.

I'm nervous because I want to be sure that I communicate the true heart of worship...and, in all honesty, a wee bit because I know my dancing is not "current" according to the world's standards.  What will they think of me?  I hope they don't think of me, but only of Him.

Dancers are a unique sort:  artistic, diva-ish, emotional, creative, competitive.  Some of us are ruthless and cut-throat.  Some of us want to look out for others and to help.  "Are you having trouble with that part of the routine?  Here, let me help you."  Maybe it is sometimes self-serving.  If I can teach it to someone else then I will know it better myself.  Maybe we empathize with those who have trouble picking up the routine because we ourselves have been in that position before.  It is embarrassing and frustrating.

beautiful Marilyn - technician and worshiper
But dance for worship of God...  Everything we know as dancers goes absolutely against the humility, tenderness, selflessness required to take our eyes off us, and set them wholly on Him.  We've been conditioned to look out for number one.  We really need to be looking up to the ONE.
And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one, save Jesus only. ~Mt. 17:8
I often think of this verse when I dance.  "There are going to be a bunch of eyes on me.  Jesus, I want to look up and see only You.  I want to see You in each face.  I want to dance for You.  I want to love them like You.  Help me love them through my dancing."

The technician and worship:  We must get past our ability/training and focus on our motive.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, to that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. ~1 Cor. 13:1-3
If I may... "Though I dance like a genius, can do fifty fouette turns and fly through the air with my legs wrapped around my head, but have not love, it profits me the eternal perspective."  What did Jesus say, "I assure you, he has his reward."  Are we dancing for all the world to see and commend us, or are we dancing for "no one, save Jesus only?"  Are we laying up our treasure in heaven?

Winnie dancing her heart.
I actually had a girl quit my dance ministry once (in a huff) because I "never put her in front."  She was amazing. A sweet, beautiful and talented girl with the most fantastic presence.  She thought that I didn't like her dancing.  What a shame...for both of us.  I clearly should have communicated to her what a stunning dancer she was and not assumed that she already knew.  And she shouldn't have presumed to know what I was thinking.  The relationship, though I have apologized and taken the full blame, was never reconciled.

In the same instance, another dancer told me she was so thankful to dance that she'd "dance in a closet as long as she could do it for Jesus."

That is the heart.

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