While on a retreat not long ago, I was deeply convicted. We all listened to a song entitled, “I hope you dance,” sung by LeaAnn Womack. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I wept, to the point of embarrassment, as I listened. The song reflected on the choices in the journey of life. “And when you get the choice to sit out or dance, I hope you dance. Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along. Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone.” I was convicted of my resistance in entering a deeper spiritual dance with my dear wife.
For Valentine’s day she gave me a card with a husband and a wife flying in a hot air balloon. I felt my resistance to the metaphor. She wrote, “This hot air balloon is the Spirit carrying us to new places we’ve never been before – new vistas! New communication! New ways of seeing things! New ways of responding! It will be good as we hang on to each other and let the wind of the Spirit carry us. There is no one else I want to be with in the hot air balloon.” I am still struggling with her invitation. I am afraid of going into the unknown with my wife, knowing it requires a surrender at a deeper level.
We read that King David danced “with all his might,” unashamed in the midst of the people and before the Lord. “David danced before the Lord with all his might; David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet” (II Sam. 6:14-15). Dancing in the Bible symbolizes praise, freedom and yielding to God. In Ps 150: 4 we are encouraged to “praise him [God] with timbrel and dancing.” The Psalmist exclaims that God, “turned my wailing into dancing” (Ps 30:11).
I am thankful that my wife is giving me space to get into “the swing” of the Spirit. The Lord has freed her for the next phase of our journey together. While I still resist, I can sense I am getting to the place of “entering into” the dance. While on that retreat, here are some of the issues I identified in my struggle. I wonder if some of the men reading this blog don’t face some of same issues.
First, evidence of my selfishness. My focus is on me rather than my bride. I want to protect my “spiritual turf” as I have come to understand it. I talk a good talk about being response to my wife, but I want things to be on my terms. This is hard to admit after 50 years of a marriage in which I thought I was a pretty sensitive guy. Lord, help me to open my heart to my wife.
Secondly, while being known as an outgoing, friendly guy, I still lack spontaneity in my spirit. I have a hard time being childlike; being free in the present moment. My wife is waiting for me to “let go” and enjoy the next part of our journey. As the song reminds me, “who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone.” Lord, help me to live without regret.
Thirdly, I am hurting my wife with my self-centeredness. She has to pull back and wait for me to join her. I know she is right, but I resist. Lord, help me to “let go and enter into.”