Thoughts and Meditations from verses and stories through one guy's head and heart... Psalm 124:7
Friday, August 04, 2006
My beautiful bride five years ago...
Learning the Steps
Christy and I celebrated our fifth anniversary yesterday and whoa… I sorta can’t believe it’s been five years. It’s gone so stinkin’ fast! Now here we are, with two little kids and us more in love than ever, laughing more than ever after five trips around the sun. The other day I was thinking about our wedding and how much everyone danced afterwards… I was pretty much tearing up the dance floor, having a blast and feeling totally free. Now, these facts are pretty amazing considering that most of my life I have been drastically afraid of dancing… especially in front of onlookers. But I wasn’t scared that night, and do you want to know why? I had spent the previous semester in college taking a course called ‘ballroom dance.’ That’s right… I learned to swing, tango, cha cha, rumba and waltz, and I wasn’t too bad either.
All her life Christy has wanted dancing after her wedding. She wanted to be swept around the dance floor in her beautiful gown by the love of her life on her wedding day. Before proposing to Christy, I have to admit that I had never really given any thought to what my wedding would be like, but I soon learned that I would be dancing. That was pretty much the most intimidating thing in the world to me! I was scared to death, but I wanted everything to be perfect for her. I wanted to give myself completely to her. So, what did I do? I learned the steps. I learned how to dance so that I wouldn’t be scared to do what she wanted most from me… so that I knew how to move and wouldn’t feel like an idiot in front of everyone there. On that night, I knew the steps and though I was nervous, I just started moving, and pretty soon, I wasn’t thinking about it… I was just dancing with my bride.
Way back when God’s people were going to the temple or the tabernacle to worship God by offering sacrifices over an altar of fire, there were many different kinds of offerings. The book of Leviticus tells us about all of those different offerings and the very first one it describes is called the whole burnt offering. This was an offering of consecration in which the whole animal was completely burned up… nothing was left. It was a way for people to say to God, “I am yours completely. Take all of me, I hold nothing back. Burn up all of my plans, desires and will and fill me with Your will.” In 2 Chronicles 29:27-28 when King Hezekiah gave the order for the whole burnt offering to be sacrificed, he also ordered the temple players and singers to bring the praise! It says, “The whole assembly bowed in worship, while the singers sang and the trumpeters played. All this continued until the sacrifice of the burnt offering was completed.”
I think the idea of the whole burnt offering is so intimidating… are we ever really ready to offer God all of ourselves? Are we ready to say to Him, “Take all of me?” Yet, this is what He most wants from us… to give Him all. And this is why we need praise in our everyday lives. Singing praise songs teaches us the dance steps of consecration. As we sing the words of some great worship song, we teach our spirit step by step how to let go. Sing the words of some great old hymn like, To Christ the Lord by Samuel Stennett… “Since from His bounty I receive such proofs of love divine, had I a thousand hearts to give, Lord they should all be Thine…” and before long, you won’t be merely singing, but actually offering yourself completely to Him. You may forget your steps and yourself and just find yourself dancing.