The Dance (Stephen Haughland)

“And now I’m glad I didn’t know.
The way it all would end.
The way it all would go.
Our lives are better left to chance.
I could have missed the pain,
But I’d have had to miss the dance!”

Today, most Garth Brooks fans would recognize immediately the words from the refrain of his hit single, simply called “The Dance.”  They are words which speak truth to our human condition: telling us that life is a  dance that requires our presence, participation and enthusiasm – no sitting on the sidelines, no hanging back, and only one way forward – get up and do it…! Even if we don’t always know the steps, and even when there’s pain, in the end what’s most important is the effort. We don’t want to miss the dance!

Long ago, a certain man also invited us to a very special dance. Many, however, doubted him because he seemed so awkward and unspecial: The poor child of an unwed mother. Uneducated. Unattractive. Utterly homeless. Acquainted with sorrows and familiar with grief!  What dance could he possibly teach us?

But he knew us, and better than we know ourselves. He wanted us to hear and remember the music that God had placed in every human heart. He knew that we could learn again that dance called faith, that dance called hope! Called love! Called joy! Called courage!

Then, suddenly, he was taken. Called to solo-dance with the sad music of betrayal, pain and death. Was he gone forever?  Would our dance with life end?

But no! Incredibly, amazingly, his sad solo was really a victory!  Because of him, the dance of betrayal and pain became the dance of joy and hope. Because of him, the dance of death became the dance of life! Because of him, we can hear again the music of God which never ends and cannot be stopped. Because of him, we can learn again the melodies of joy, hope, and love! Because he lives, he gave us back the dance!

Because He Lives, He gave us back The Dance!

Today that dance has many names. Some call it a religion. Others call it a way of life. Still others call it a faith.

I call it the dance: the dance with Life that will never end.  I call it Christianity.  I call it Life itself!

The Rev. Stephen Haughland
Westminster Presbyterian Church, Chauvin AB