Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Put Me In Coach: Part 2...

Me being adorable.
My Grammy loves to tell stories about when I was a little girl and I love listening to them.   She tells about how I used to go straight into her closet when I would come to her house, and come out wearing her high heeled shoes.  I would stumble out into the living room to show them off, even though I was barely old enough to walk.  I would request (okay...insist) that she let me wear her silk nightgown as a dress while I sang and danced to her Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra records.  I loved dressing up in her clothes, putting on her Lee Press-On nails (remember those!?), and pretend I was an actress in a movie.  But there is one story she tells that always makes my heart swell because it is such a wonderful example of how children see themselves before life has the chance to tarnish it.

Here's the story.

When I was around two years old, my Grammy's brother-in-law died of a heart attack.  The memorial service was held at a venue that had a small stage at the back of the room.  As people milled around, my Grammy suddenly noticed out of the corner of her eye something moving up the stairs of the stage.  She turned to find that it was me in a cute little white dress, climbing onto the stage.  My white dress shoes made clicking noises as I walked to the front of the stage.  A smile she hadn't made for days slowly spread across her face as she saw me begin to dance and spin.  She tells me that she could look at me and see that I was dancing to a song from somewhere inside me.  As I danced people started to turn and notice.  The more eyes that fell on me, the bigger my smile got and the more I would kick and twirl.

I knew people were watching me and I loved it!  Even though I was a tiny little thing, I knew that my dance was changing the atmosphere.  My parents smiled at me as people gathered around the stage and started clapping and laughing.  I may not have understood death or even life; but even at that age I knew all I needed to know.  My presence, my freedom, my beauty, my dance, my LIFE....changes things.

The cuteness.  It just won't stop.

As we grow older we start caring what other people think of our dance.  We worry about messing something up or being an inconvenience.  So we stop.  We lock up that free little soul somewhere deep in us where we can't hear the song anymore and we tell ourselves it better this way.  It's better to blend in. It's better to just let things be as they are and not rock the boat. 

I can't help but ROCK!

It's the shift from thinking like a child to thinking like an adult that makes it hard for us to know Jesus.  Little kids don't struggle so much with the idea of God and His being present in our lives.  They believe in things they can't see or feel.  I remember really and truly believing that the fort my brother and I built out of blankets and couch cushions really was a prison for little brothers that don't let their sister play with their GI Joes.  I remember not being able to understand why my mom was so horrible at playing Barbies with me.  Piles of pillows were mountains, not piles of pillows.  Barbie and Skipper had an obvious jealousy issue involving Ken's attention and his affinity for my G.E.M. doll.  Explaining everything that was happening to my mom was so exhausting.  Why couldn't she just see what I saw?

At some point in life we are all told in some way or another that miracles aren't real, stop playing, no more make-believe, no one is coming to our rescue, we are average or worse...we are junk, our imagination and visions are crap, dreaming is a waste of time,  we aren't beautiful, captiving, compelling, strong, desirable, fun, exciting, worthy, there are rules we have to follow to fit in, and so on and so on.  At first, when we're little,  we don't believe these lies, but as time goes on and we keep hearing them, we swallow them like a pill and allow the poison to infect us. 

In my own life, I've circled back. I've purposely and happily regressed back to that little Katie who knew she was necessary and beautiful.  I've got my dancing shoes back on, ya'll! It took me awhile to get here, but the journey has been well worth it.  It's not so hard to believe in Jesus now that He's taken all that poison and junk out of my life.  It's not so hard to see Him in all the places and people I couldn't see Him before.  The scales have been removed from my eyes.  The hardness is gone.  I know with all that I am that I am an irreplaceable part in what God is doing in the Earth.  Today and forever.  Did you catch that? FOREVER.  The things I do now, effect generations to come.  I am like, really, really important.  And so are you. 

Future preacher right here!!

That day while I danced on the stage and people clapped, smiled, and forgot about the sadness for a moment; they weren't doing it because of me. Sure I was cute and all, but even though they didn't realize it, they were actually captivated by God.  He is Beauty. He is Joy. He is Life.  He is Freedom.  There is no death in Him.  There is no pain and sadness in Him.  It was His presence that took their focus off of death and onto Joy! Whether I am 5 years old or 105 years old, anything and everything good and attractive about me is ALL because God's Holy Spirit lives inside of me.  He wants to use us to show Him to a hurting world.  When we pull back and stand on the sidelines we are robbing the world of our God-given gifts.

Until we stop caring what people think and starting caring about what God desires, we will not be satisfied.  We might eek by.  We might claw through each day and fall into an exhausted heap at the end of the day.  We might be able to convince ourselves life is too hard because it's Monday, or because our tire went flat, or because we don't have money to pay the bills, or whatever.  We might be kinda okay as long as we keep a constant stream of distractions coming at us so we don't hear His voice telling us to get to center stage and dance.  But we won't be living to our full potential.  We won't get to experience the true and irrevocable freedom, joy, grace, and love that comes from being in an intimate relationship with our Creator. 

Your dance changes things. 

So dance!

Go be...YOU!



I think you get the picture. (Pun most definitely intended.)

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