And if you try to please God by obeying the Law, you have cut yourself off from Christ and his gift of undeserved grace.

Galatians 5:4 (CEV)

I have been reading a blog by Pete Briscoe that has challenged me to consider the value of dancing over marching in the Christian life. I grew up in a very legalistic church where the law or truth was taught but not much grace. As a result, I was not allowed to go to movies, or dances, play cards, and listen to most of the popular music of the day. My parents were very strict and we followed the church’s rules. So when we talk about the value of dancing, this is completely foreign to me. 

My parents became Christians at a Billy Graham Crusade when I was about four years old. We moved from New Mexico to California soon after to be near family. I became a Christian at the age of nine at a family camp where my counselor led me to the Lord. When we got home from camp, we started attending a popular downtown Los Angeles Church with a well-known Bible teacher as the pastor.

I have a great legacy from my years attending that church but it was all about performance and I became a marcher—a very good marcher who knew how to follow all the rules. But I didn’t understand the freedom that grace gives us when we allow it to take hold of our lives—it lets us dance.

Covid took away a lot of our freedoms. But that is not the only thing that has affected us. All you have to do is turn on your TV or open the news on your phone to see our freedom strained and pain around us. We all know about pain. Pain in isolation, pain in childbirth, pain in relationships, pain from high costs of just about everything, pain in shortages from TP to baby formula.

Years ago, Lawrence Welk said, “In spite of the Depression, or maybe because of it, folks were hungry for a good time, and an evening of dancing seemed a good way to have it.”

Maybe we are doing the same thing now, happy to be released to a more normal life. But maybe God will make us dancers one way or another, and if He has to use pain, He’s okay with that. God is inviting us into the dance.