Elaine and Rob, Dancing. May, 2010.
Learning to be Led
I never learned to waltz. A child of the 60s, I never learned any dance steps, except for a few square dancing moves, taught on rainy days by my sixth-grade teacher. Okay, that's an exaggeration. I did learn the Twist. And the Hokey Pokey.
But generally, for me, dancing is a free-form expression.
Since my life isn't frequently visited by formal events, it's not a huge handicap. I do remember, though, when I lived in French Polynesia, the humiliation of being propelled around the dance floor by a young Tahitian who patiently counted out, "un, deux, trois" as he attempted to lead me in the dance.
Following--relaxing and letting someone else guide my movements--doesn't come naturally to me. My body doesn't easily translate the gentle, continuous pressure on my back into a direction. I'm prone to resisting.In the world of dance this resistance is known as backleading.
Wikipedia defines backleading:
When I was a young woman, a band called Tears for Fears released a song called Everybody Wants to Rule the World. You can listen to it here if you're feeling nostalgic. I'm no megalomaniac, but too often I do want to rule my world.'Backleading' is when a Follow is executing steps without waiting for, or contrary to, or interfering with the Lead's lead. Both are considered bad dancing habits because it makes the Follow difficult to lead and dance with.(my emphasis)
So when I'm honest with myself, I recognize that my resistance to following isn't confined to the dance floor. It contaminates my relationship with my Savior, too. I want Him to be with me, but all too often I want to rule my world. I jump into something without waiting for Him. Or I interfere with His will.
From now on, I'm not walking with Jesus anymore. I'm going to dance with Him. And I'm going to focus on that continuous pressure He exerts on my back, translating it into direction.
I may never win a waltz contest, but when it comes to following my Lord, I'm determined to overcome my two left feet.
132 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
After Your manner with those who love Your name.
133 Establish my footsteps in Your word,
And do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.
134 Redeem me from the oppression of man,
That I may keep Your precepts.
135 Make Your face shine upon Your servant,
And teach me Your statutes.
Psalm 119:132-135 (NASB)