I’m not a dancer. I’d like to be, but my age, lack of coordination, and anchor to reality prohibit me. Of course, I still sometimes have the quiet urge to bust a move, but so far I’ve been able to suppress it.
A few days ago, I was on my back porch when I saw my husband in the kitchen getting a snack. I watched him through the window as he pulled out the peanut butter, paused, took a breath, and then proceeded to give a few seconds to the music coming from the TV. He danced not knowing he was being watched, and I envied him.
I long to dance and do a cartwheel and burst into song in a crowded mall, but I don’t. I don’t try those things. I hold back.
We recently traveled as a family to London, Paris, and Rome. It was the trip of a lifetime. We had saved and scrimped and planned and dreamed, and it was incredible.
Right before we left though, I seriously just wanted to stay home. The unknowns scared me. I ceased thinking of it as a grand adventure and started seeing it as one huge calamity waiting to happen. I wanted to hold back. Stay put. Look at pictures and read stories, but not go there.
Of course with my plane ticket bought and my family counting on me, I sucked it up and pushed myself to leave the familiar behind.
It wasn’t easy, and even while we were there, I often wanted to hide. Sore feet, language struggles, and crowds of people made me reach for my shell. But I couldn’t stay there. The reality of wasting my opportunity weighed too heavily.
And I’ve carried that thought home.
Life holds so many wonders. Things to see and experience. Places to go. People to meet. And I’m not talking about international trips. I’m talking about the everyday stuff. Not holding back in the right here and now. Taking risks. Being real.
God desires for us to have full lives. Not easy. Not empty. Not erasable. Full.
How do we get there? How do we live the full life?
I’m sure there are a few essentials. Honesty. Love. Courage. Faith. Jesus. But I’m also sure it looks different on each of us. It’s not wasting what we’ve been given.
It’s being compelled to leave the familiar behind and follow God, exchanging complacency for something different. I can’t define this difference because I don’t know what it is for you.
I just know it’s different from pictures and stories. It’s bigger.
It’s moving and dancing and not holding back.
May the reality of wasting the daily opportunities afforded us weigh so heavily that staying where we are ceases to be an option.
May we not hold back.