I’M NOT A BAD DANCER!
I feel I am a pretty good dancer. After all, my parents sent me to Junior Assembly when I was eight or ten or something. I can’t really remember because I think I blocked it out, psychologically speaking. The class was fine for my brothers and sister. They were nine and thirteen years ahead of me in age and it was cool to go to such a class to learn the foxtrot and other ballroom dances in a coat and tie, girls in dresses and white gloves. But when it was my time, it was in the mid to late sixties and ballroom dancing with high and tight haircuts was not a fad—at all.
Over the years, I adopted my own moves and embarrassing shakes. I am known to bless weddings with my rendition of The Gator. If ever you have seen the movie Animal House you know the dance, only better. By the way, if you have never seen that movie, it is required viewing to have a complete life.
Dancing at weddings is always good.
I think over the years we all form our own jig. Maybe it is dancing. I hope so. If you have kids, you need to dance with your kids at their wedding. But I think there is a life dance we do, sometimes just to get by. I remember when my wife wasn’t working. We were trying to keep her home with the kids. I wasn’t getting raises. My paycheck was actually going backwards over the years while working three jobs, one of which started a few hours after I got off my main job and worked me all night—for years.
I had to ‘dance’ just to pay the power bill. I would look around, whenever I was able to lift my head, and see others, seeming to be doing so much better than I was. Then, my head would drop again because I was, well, dancing. I was a Christian during this time. We went to church and all that stuff, but the fatigue of life and the dance it required was exhausting and distracting. Where was God while I was doing this?
I remember where I was when enough was enough. It was decades ago but I can see it like it was this morning. In one of my prior lives, I was in law enforcement, and it was my turn to monitor a ‘wire’ on a house we were watching of a murder suspect. They were not home so the wire was off and I was balancing my checkbook. It was a Wednesday. I was in a motor home, in Phoenix, in June. It was one of two back-to-back hottest days in the history of Phoenix. The a/c just failed and the metal box of the motor home was starting to warm up like a pop tart in a toaster. And by my calculations, even with the off-duty work, I was $846.28 short, even after my paycheck would be directly deposited the next day.
EXHAUSTION KICKED IN
I was sweating, exhausted, and I had failed in my dance. Even today, decades later, I can still see looking at the balance in the check register—I can still see it. At that moment, I began to tear up and simply said something to God I do not remember. Funny, isn’t it? I can remember the check book and the amount but not my plea to Dad. It was something like I can’t anymore God, help.
Now, God being God, he actually didn’t need me to say anything. He already knew. But looking back on it, I am sure he was proud of me. He was proud because of the struggle I put up with and how hard I fought. How hard I danced. But He wanted me to want Him. In my child mind, all I could say was ‘help.’
That’s all he needed.
I would like to say Dad shows up every time like the cavalry. Riding over the ridgeline to pull my butt out of the fire. But I would be lying. He never leaves me or forsakes me, but his plan is not always my plan. But it is always perfect. I just can’t see it all the time.
The next day, I checked my balance. I checked it and checked it and then a cold sweat fell on me. Something was terribly wrong, I thought. There was a large amount of money in my account. The first thing I thought of was it was wrong and now I got to figure out how to give it back.
Dad is never wrong
But it wasn’t wrong.
A pay raise promised six months ago had finally kicked in—retroactive to the sixth month mark. There was exactly $847 more in my account in addition to my regular check. Apparently, my check book math was off by .72 cents.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying God will bail you out of financial, health, or any other situation and the roses will always smell fresh. That is my wish, and probably yours and it might be part of his plan. But probably not, but sometimes it can be.
SOMETIMES, THE CAVALRY DOES SHOW UP
He didn’t make me rich and the next week I am sure I was back in the firebox dancing. But there was a new attitude within me. I knew from that day forward, God was there. He, through his son, Jesus, was in the game with me. I was never alone, will never be alone and sometimes, He is silent, and sometimes he works out the math. But he is always always there.
When I know that, He is living in me, it makes the real dance, at a wedding with one of my kids, that much sweeter.
“Be still and know….” He says. Ahhhhhhhhhh
Enjoy the ride.
By the way, this book tells a story of a man going through life not seeing his life count. Boy, was he wrong. You might like it.