Finish this sentence:
"The world would be a better place if only _______________ ."
What did you think of? I'm guessing that you did not first think of something you have direct control over.
If God reigns, then shouldn't we believe that the world is actually exactly as it should be, except for things we can change?
Feel free to disagree with me. I'm not sure it's quite as stark as that. But I know I, for one, err too much on the side of being dissatisfied with people, jobs, illnesses, churches, whatever. It's hard to trust God to make all things work for good when some things are so apparently bad.
After reading my post on biblical submission, Michael reminded me that during our dance lessons, I had a hard time following not only when Michael led me, but also the one or two times I danced with our instructor. He dances wonderfully -- graceful, smooth -- and for no good reason I could not relax and follow his lead. "Stop leading," he'd say. I knew he wasn't making any mistakes. But being led doesn't come naturally to me.
Just as dancing with Michael works for me as a metaphor for biblical submission in marriage, dancing with the instructor seems like a good image for submission to God. I know he's doing everything right -- but it's hard to trust him. When I complain about things that seem wrong to me but I can't affect, I suspect that I'm trying to lead God instead of letting him lead me. It takes humility to be led. I want the dance, including the other dancers, to do things right (i.e. my way). God seems to be more interested in my submission to him than in the dance going perfectly.
I vaguely recall from dance lessons that no matter what my partner did -- spin me out, swing me around -- my role stayed pretty much the same: step, rock, step. It seemed to go more smoothly if I focused on the rhythm of my steps instead of on where my partner led me. What steps should I focus on while God leads me?
Recently God has thrown a friend of mine for a loop. Her husband is in the hospital with a brain tumor. This morning the doctor performed a biopsy on it; they won't have the results for another 3 to 5 days. "I'm just not ready for this," she keeps saying. Her friends and I remind her: trust God. Pray. Let others help you and love you. I think that these things are the basic steps to follow, repeatedly, to enter into the rhythm as the true Lord of the Dance leads us.