Thursday, 28 August 2014

Dancing to a Different Beat

Blackpool Tower Ballroom
During these months away on Sabbatical and holiday I have been so privileged to spend time with many different people in many different places.

One of those places that I recently visited was Blackpool Tower where we spent time in the Ballroom.  There we sat and listened to music, watched people dance, and had High Tea!  The Ballroom has featured on “Strictly Come Dancing” on television, but even without that attention I am sure it would draw many people to just sit and soak up the atmosphere.

At Blackpool Tower Ballroom there are “regulars” who go there to dance each day and in their small, but appreciated way, entertain the visitors with their dancing.  I love watching the dancing as they move gracefully and (depending on the music) with excited passion.  If the truth be known I enjoy watching that more that the hyped up “Strictly” on television, and, just to show how sad I can be years ago I enjoyed watching “Come Dancing” which was much more about ordinary people dancing rather than so called celebrities, most of whom are known to a minority of people.

With that wonderful dancing it is so important to keep in with the rhythm and beat of the music and the organist.  How like that it is with God.  We can choose to dance our own way, but if we opt into keeping to the rhythm and beat of the Holy Spirit, if we keep in step with the Spirit, then the patterns and flow of our lives become things of beauty.

Is anyone pulling your strings?
Will you dance to God's beat?
I was reminded again just the other day of the importance of music and rhythm and beat when I saw a street entertainer (see photograph).  Beautiful violin music was being played from a CD player and a puppeteer was controlling a puppet violinist who played along in time with the music.  In some ways that makes the same point as above – that keeping in with God’s (the puppeteer’s) rhythm so that everything was in time with the music meant it looked beautiful.  Actually though there is an important difference.  God does not pull our strings.  He does not control us in that way.  Oh yes there are plenty of people who do try to pull our strings and it might be worth us all reflecting on who or what might pull our strings in life and seek to control us.

The important difference with God is that there are no strings attached.  Instead he invites us graciously to join in his dance, his music, his rhythm, his beat.

Will you dance to a different beat?  Will you dance to God’s beat?