Life is a lot like dancing. Sure, that analogy may be overused and perhaps a little cliche, but it’s true. Let me explain.
The other day, my RA was teaching me how to swing dance. I’ve only danced a few times before, and I have no sense of rhythm. Obviously, I was rather self-conscious with my roommates watching my horrible dancing. But my RA is patient, so it was fun. That’s not the point though. Let’s keep going.
There’s something you need to know about swing dance. As with most dances, the guy leads. More importantly, he holds his hands out, palms up and slightly cupped. The girl places her hands, palms down, in his. If the pair were to pull back from each other, their fingers would be what held them together. Get the picture? I hope so because I can’t describe it much better. =) But it’s a loose grip. Not a tight grip or a death grip. The basic idea is that you only apply slight pressure so that blood still circulates in the guy’s fingers. Which was something my very patient RA had to remind me of. Frequently. We would stop mid-dance, and she’d look at me, shake my fingers to loosen them, and gently remind me not to grip so hard. She warned, “If you grip that tightly, the guy’s going to wonder what’s wrong!” We’d laugh and go back to dancing–only to stop a few minutes later to repeat the lesson.
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering how this relates to life. Here’s what I realized. (And somewhere in this, the analogy could break down. Please ignore that part of the analogy and hear me out.) Imagine life is the dance. The partner is anything we are doing in life: homework, a job, free time, church, friends, or whatever else we love. If we grip our partner too tightly, if we spend too much time worrying about and planning for how to make the “dance” more perfect, the dance will fall apart. It will be awkward and more difficult. This is NOT to say that planning is a bad thing. What this is to say is that we can’t grip any part of life too tightly. In fact, we can’t grip life too tightly. By holding life, our schedules, and our passions loosely, we make time for God’s little diversions. Often He has great plans for us, but we can’t see those things if we’re so intent on making the dance perfect. Sometimes God has to stop us mid-dance, look at us, shake our fingers (and sometimes our lives!) to loosen our grip, and gently remind us not to grip our life so tightly. He has control. Let Him guide the dance. If we loosely hold the things we love, God will give us opportunities to dip and twirl and simply enjoy the dance.