I’m a windshield guy more than a rear view mirror guy. It’s important at times to look behind you, but that’s not where I’m going. That’s where I’ve been.
In the same vein, I don’t do a lot of soul searching over decisions made, clothes bought or miles traveled. That was then and this is now.
Having said that, I did attempt to play that little game called “If-I-Could-Go-Back-And-Have-‘Do-0vers’-What-Would-I-Do-Differently?” So I mentally went way back and reviewed the major decisions of my life … and concluded there’s not a whole lot I would have changed.
I’d marry the same cute eighteen year old. I’d want the same incredible sons and their sweet wives. I would change little about where full-time ministry has taken me for 48 years. I’d choose the same eight grandchildren. By and large I’d reorder my life with few changes.
Except I would have danced.
I didn’t say ‘dance more’ … I said I would have danced.
Some who know me would say, “But we saw you dancing at a wedding reception or two.” No, I was standing still, holding on to Joanie while she danced. My feet were pretty much glued to the floor.
And it’s not that I’m unwilling. It’s that while growing up I was instructed that dancing was wrong … by the same people who intoned that going to a movie was a sin. (Although staying at home to watch Peyton Place on television somehow was allowable!) Christianity has fought the Pharisaical mindset for a long, long time. We were judged by the length of our skirts, hair and scowl, not by the joy and freedom of salvation in our hearts.
God’s critical directions and instructions are plain and relatively simple. But they don’t include things like:
– which translation of the Bible gets a God nod ‘seal of approval’ and which don’t pass muster
– that Sunday School must begin at 9:45 a.m.
– that 1611 English must be spoken in ecclesiastical gatherings
And a myriad of other addendums we’ve added to God’s original counsel.
Every time we add our own rules or our interpretations to his rules, we add layers of heaviness that extracts a bit of life that God intended us to enjoy. Freedom in Christ is replaced by only ‘duty to Christ’ and while I have the privilege of following Him I wish to do it with gusto, not guilt.
I wish I would have danced.
May you have joy and dancing feet on your journey!