Her smile lit up the room as she danced across the floor in a line with all the other 4-year-olds at the dance studio. Clearly she loves to dance. This proud grandfather had so much fun watching her and her classmates.
All the students had that same happy smile. But every so often one of them would get a little out of step or turn the wrong direction. A look of anxiety would cross their faces. They knew they were out of step but were not sure how to correct it. Almost immediately one of the dance instructors would be right there to nudge them back into the proper place in line, and the smile would return.
It reminds me so much of how God works in our day-to-day lives. God wants us to have an abundant, full life (John 10:10). When we follow the Lord, making the moves He teaches us to make, we find a sense of fullness and satisfaction in life. But when we step out of line, or get confused, then anxiety comes. We often realize we are out of step with God’s plan, but we don’t always know how to get back to where we need to be. Fortunately, we have a Teacher, the Holy Spirit, who gently nudges us back into line so that our joy can return.
As I watched the dance recital, none of the children ran wild or refused to listen to the teacher that day. But I’ve been told there are days when it does happen. The teachers have developed healthy ways to help the children return to the line, though the children may not be quite as happy as when they receive a mere nudge. That is a life truth to learn as well. When we ignore the gentle nudge, then the Teacher has to take stronger action. Learning to follow to the nudge, instead of waiting for the stronger voice, is an important part of learning how to dance through life filled with joy and satisfaction.
Are you responding to the nudge?
Dr. Terry W. Dorsett serves at the executive director of the Baptist Convention of New England.