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Dancing through Disappointment

November 7, 2012

Disappointment is an inevitability. And since disappointment is part of life while we’re here, we need to learn to dance through it. 

According to the red and blue maps, half of the United States woke up disappointed this morning. But, even on days that aren’t preceded by national elections, disappointment comes often and often it comes with  other complications. Complications like cleaning up other people’s messes, or finding an alternate life route, or dealing with betrayal, or preparing for upcoming consequences from best laid plans gone awry.

Disappointment isn’t going away so we need to learn to dance through it.

Now, I say this as someone who is a wannabe dancer. The Dietz and I have been known to attempt to add dancing to a romantic evening aboard a cruise ship. That is, after all, what is in the official Romance Handbook, page 94. But our version is more like “stand somewhere out of the path of other dancers, sway and smile like your lack of movement is due to being enraptured with each other.”

So, though I am not an expert on dancing, I do know this: beautiful ballroom dancing means that one person leads and one person follows and you need to know which person you are. This principle of dancing through life is especially important for those of us who say that we trust Creator God for our life here and in eternity. If we really want to demonstrate a life of faith, we need to learn to dance through disappointment.

It might help to think of it like this:

Beautiful ballroom dancing means that the Follower (that’s us) is able to move with grace and confidence even though they are moving backwards. That is possible because the Follower trusts the Lead Dancer (that’s Him) and His view of the dance floor. They relax in their partner’s knowledge of the true position of the other dancers. They yield to the Leader because they have confidence in the wisdom of the One with the long view.

The Follower has to embrace the truth that they have a limited perspective.

The Follower has to cooperate with The Leader’s unfolding plan.

The Follower has to be acutely aware of ongoing dependence on Someone else.

Of course, this all works better if there is great familiarity between the dancers. If the Follower is sensitive to the slightest touch of the Lead Dancer, and responds quickly to the smallest indication that an adjustment in course is necessary, then they glide as if they were one unit. Every turn may be unexpected and the timing may be a bit bewildering, but still they move in sync.

Whether disappointment comes because of our own misplaced expectations or because of another person’s misjudgment, it is inevitable while we are here. It becomes a matter of how to deal with the disappointment – whatever the source.

The music is playing. How will you dance through this day?

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. Prov 19:21

The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. Prov 16:4

The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Psalm 138:8

“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Job 42:2

I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. Ps 57:2

Oh, I should mention … Once we get Home, we will never be disappointed but until then ….




6 Comments leave one →
  1. Greg permalink
    November 7, 2012 12:07 pm

    Thank you and thanking Father for such wise mentors!!

    • November 7, 2012 5:28 pm

      Isn’t it wonderful to know that our King is on the throne at all times? In the times we get what (we think) we want and in the times we get what (we think) we don’t want? He Reigns! Hugs and prayers to you and your dear ones, Greg!

  2. Michael Shannon permalink
    November 7, 2012 2:47 pm

    Thanks Becky…that was great! I couldn’t help but to have a big smile on my face as you describe dancing with Jim. I think Jim and I have the same dance style or moves. I really like your point that when it comes to ballroom dancing “one person leads and one person follows and you need to know which person you are.” Good stuff!

    • November 7, 2012 5:29 pm

      Thanks for your encouragement, Mike. It has been pure joy to watch you dance in life as you follow His lead!

  3. Kirk permalink
    November 8, 2012 12:43 pm

    Hi Becky. Nice blog post. I took ballroom dance lessons a number of years ago and loved it. One of the most interesting things is that the follower must offer resistance so the leader has something against which to push. It is impossible to lead a limp dish rag! I am not suggesting we resist God’s leading but, using the dancing analogy, we must be engaged with Him in order to be led by Him. Wimpy-limpy followers need not apply.

    • November 8, 2012 5:03 pm

      What wonderful extra insight! Engage! Participate! Collaborate! Join with Him! That is just the extra touch this post needed! Thank you, Kirk!

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