Dancing as Fast as We Can

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Mom loves watching Dancing with the Stars. At dinner Mom would share with me who danced well, who did amazing stunts, who she thought might win the whole shebang; and in the end of this past season, Mom was spot-on. Mom loved Zendaya and Val, but in the end she knew the Mirror Ball Trophy was going to Kellie and Derek. And she was right!

I love the trend of reality competition shows which give opportunities for individuals around the world to showcase their amazing talents. Everything from dancing, to singing, to acrobatic feats – there is no shortage of talent in this world. And the credit really goes to God for creating us with amazing talents, and then to the individuals who recognize their talent, work to perfect it and then dare to show the world. God bless them.

I remember growing up in the 1980’s and watching a popular movie about dancing, called Flashdance. For those of you who may not know Flashdance, it is about Alex, an 18-year-old female welder at a steel mill in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A steel worker by day, but a dancer by night, Alex longs to be accepted into a hoity-toity dance company, and one day finally gets her chance to audition.

What we in the audience see is a beautiful young woman dancing as fast as she can to an original routine she put together from watching the people who have influenced her dancing. Alex incorporates ballet, rap, break dancing and several other forms of dance she has studied and practiced. After a rough start Alex is allowed to begin again, and in the end the judges love Alex’s performance and they allow her to enter the dance company.

What we know now is that in order to put that final dance sequence together, a team of incredibly talented editors, producers, directors and artists used four different dancers. Because of make-up, costume, body-size and film editing, all the dancers looked just like Alex, and each of them danced their own special section of the routine. When the editors finished, it looks like Alex on the big screen is the most amazing woman on God’s green earth. But the dance sequence is more filmography at its best, rather than showcasing a perfection that just doesn’t exist. No one person could dance like that – but four people could.

Here’s my point: the only conclusion we can draw from that final dance sequence is that the average person today isn’t designed to dance like the character Alex in Flashdance. People today already are dancing as fast as they (we) can, and none of us have body doubles or three other dancers in the wings to make everything in our lives happen which everyone expects to happen. Life isn’t made of perfection, and we need to stop acting as if perfection can exist. Perfection cannot exist in our own lives. Not in our marriages, not in our work places, not in our churches, not anywhere on earth. Alex, the character, makes it look as if dance can happen perfectly. As if we can do it all. As if we should be able to do it all. The truth is … we stumble, work hard to keep it all together only to have life still fall apart from time to time, and sometimes completely.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a license to do less than we are capable of actually doing.

Or a license to behave less than God has created us to be.

Or a license to, forgive me here for a minute while I speak frankly, do a half-a**ed job.

This is, however, one man’s plea to you to give yourself a break, and to give those in your lives a break as well. Yes, do all you can humanly do to love and serve those around you. But do not try to do more than is humanly possible. Psalm 139 reminds us that as humans we are fearfully and wonderfully made – and we are. But we’re still human. Just one human. And God didn’t intend for us to be made any differently.

Perhaps you can relate? We’re all dancing as fast as we can, and I know many of you deserve the Mirror Ball Trophy for your efforts day in day out! God bless us all.

I’m praying for you. Thank you for praying for me.

Peace friends,

Chuck

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4 Comments

  • Heather Condon says:

    What a great message! Nobody says it as well as you!

  • joan skiscm says:

    Loved your blog message. I was one of the do everything Moms in the 70’s. We were expected to just about everything, do it well and still serve home made cookies, etc. After a bout with sciatic pain I realized I had to slow down. This resulted in my not being a cookie baker. The kids would come home after school bringing friends and demolish 3 hours of work in 10 minutes. So I experimented, I bought Chips Ahoy and put them out. The result was the same, gone in 10 minutes. it was home they liked, the cookies came in second. Hope your Mom is doing well and you too.

  • MJ says:

    Chuck,
    Boy,… did this come at just the right time !! I’m forwarding it on to my son…he needs to read this. Thx.

  • Kathy says:

    Chuck! Love this piece! In part becuase I loved Flashdance (own it!) and I had no idea there were 4 different dancers. I knew it wasn’t the actress playing the part but didn’t know the “full story.” Fun! In part I loved what you wrote becuase like most of us I needed to hear it! Finally, I love, love Psalm 139. Thanks! Peace upon your weekend!

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