Learning to Dance

2 Samuel 6:14 says that “David danced before the LORD with all his might.” If David were a Baptist the Bible would have said he made a casserole before the Lord. If David were Baptist he would not have danced.

I can’t dance. But that’s O.K. because I’m Baptist. Being Baptist takes some of the pressure off people who can’t dance. Baptists are not much for dancing. I have never read the official doctrinal position on dancing, but from everything I have heard said about dancing through the years, I’m pretty sure we’re against it. Honestly, it is not hard being against something you can’t do. Calling your lack of talent sin can actually work to your advantage.

I have always hated the people who put pressure on you to dance. In High School I enjoyed going to dances and standing, just standing. I was awesome at standing while everyone else danced. As long as I was standing “at” a dance I felt cool. But someone would always destroy my cool standing by putting pressure on me to dance. Some lame Junior High DJ who made me feel convicted because I wasn’t dancing. When they call for dancing it scares the cool standing people. Because you know as soon as you start dancing everyone will know you’re Baptist, and you don’t do much dancing. But if you stay off the dance floor and convince people it’s a doctrinal problem and not a total lack of muscular control, you’re good, people will leave you alone. You let those people who can dance, dance. You just stand there; you are Baptist, you have an out.

I hate not being able to dance because people who can dance are cool. John Travolta, I think he is a Scientologist, which is weird, but as for dancing, he is very cool. All those kids in High School musical, extremely cool, and probably not a Baptist in the bunch. Remember Michael Jackson in the ‘80’s? He was Jehovah’s Witness and a great dancer. My wife likes old musicals. There is a ton of dancing in old movies. There are probably a lot of Episcopalians in old musicals. Baptists are fine with riding horses. There were probably a lot of Baptists in westerns.

Doctrine aside, for me dancing is more of a physical issue than a doctrinal one. There is something wrong with my right foot. I played a lot of soccer growing up and actually still have a strong right foot. My right foot is good for jogging, walking; performing most normal right foot functions. But when it comes to dancing, my right foot won’t move. It gets real heavy. I am not sure if it is some sort of selective palsy, but when it comes to dancing my foot just gets heavy. When you can’t move your right foot it takes several dance moves out of the arsenal. Actually, it takes every dance move out of the arsenal.

My daughters love to dance; and with the shades drawn I join in. My youngest daughter, she’s three, has never said anything about it, but she knows I have a problem with my foot. Sometimes she stares at it. For our ten year anniversary my wife and I took a cruise. One night they offered Salsa dancing lessons. The instructor was a Latino guy named Elvis. He was a great dancer, very cool, and more than likely Catholic. His job was to teach me to dance. It didn’t work. Salsa is very hard to do with palsy in your foot. Elvis was smooth. I looked like I needed to go to the doctor. I think I embarrassed my wife. When I walked off the floor a lady smiled at me and said, “I saw you out there dancing.” I just smiled back and said, “I’m a Baptist preacher.”

If I took the time and learned the steps, when and where to place my heavy foot, I am confident I could learn to dance. I may be as smooth as Elvis . . . the Latino version. If I learned to dance, and this pastor thing does not work out, I could probably get a gig on a cruise ship.

In 2 Samuel 6 David danced, but a man also died. David had placed the ark of God on a cart pulled by oxen, and when the oxen stumbled a man put his hand to the ark to steady it. When he touched the ark God struck him and he died. The music stopped and David was afraid of the Lord. He wondered, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” He needed answers. Later, he realized his mistake, “the Lord broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order (1 Chronicles 15:13).” David had forgotten the steps. So he read the Word of God, found the order, and danced.

Learning to dance is about knowing when and how to move. Dancing is coordinating movements with rhythms, a body with music. Dancing is paradox. It is a constrictive way of learning to move freely.

Reading the Bible is like learning to dance. It is about learning the things the Lord despises, and equally as much about learning what the Lord loves.

We should not have sex outside of the covenant of marriage.
God wants us to learn to truly love.

We should not murder.
God wants us to learn the value of life.

We should not make the name of God meaningless.
God wants us to learn what it means to be completely His.

Reading the Bible is taking the time to learn what the Lord loves. It is consulting order, law, and doctrine. It is about learning the steps. It is about learning to coordinate soul and body with the rhythms of life. It is about learning how to respond to things in such a way that you can stand before the Lord and dance. When the things you believe move your feet, that’s cool. Because David consulted God’s Word, 2 Samuel 6 moves from a man dying to a man dancing. The Bible is paradox. It is a constrictive way of learning to move freely.

Reading the Bible is like learning to dance and I desperately need some lessons.


Dollar General said…
Hey Brian, I'm Jason Dollar's wife. I LOVE this blog and I'm posting it on my blog today! I hope you don't mind...I'll give you the credit! We really enjoy your ministry - I pray the "Pastor thing" continues to work out! HA!
Unknown said…
Hey Brian...I think it's funny because I'm baptist and I happen to be able to dance too. My mom has called me a bapticostal or a charabaptist, because I can do both. But it is true that if our attitudes and relationship is line with God is it like dancing before the Lord. Good blog...

Popular Posts