Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-around or listened to the rain slapping on the ground? Ever follow a butterly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into fading in the night? You better slow down. Don't dance so fast. Time is short. The music won't last. More...
May I Have This Dance?
By Lori D'Augostine
-- We all know the story well. A weary and tattered servant girl narrowly makes her way to the Royal Ball. She is clumsy and awkward, unschooled and uncouth. That is, until...
She sees him -- her destiny. He is a man of valor and strength, and he has eyes for her alone. In that moment, the little girl becomes a princess. She is mesmerized, and he is captivated. And so the story goes. The Prince takes Cinderella in his arms and dances with her. Then, they live the so-called happily ever after life.
If you're a woman who has had the privilege of knowing what it is like to be noticed by one man, you know that this experience has transformed you. If you are a man who has valiantly pursued the affections of one woman, you have unlocked the treasure of your masculinity.
There is something so undeniably miraculous about the meeting of two flawed individuals, who are nothing alike. In this fallen world, where men and women feel insecure and misunderstood, the Bible says it is a great mystery when two can happily love each other.
"As the Scriptures say, 'A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.' This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one."
God desires to be one with His bride, the Church. He looks past our flaws, captivates us, and asks us to join Him in a dance for the rest of our lives. God is a gentleman.
According to Shakespeare, a gentleman is a humble man who looks beyond the outward and loves the inward, "We are gentlemen, That neither in our hearts, nor outward eyes, Envy the great, nor do the low despise."
God does not push us or impatiently prod us, but as a gentleman, takes the lead and beckons our affections. For women, He is often viewed as a knight in shining armor and for men, He is a defender or commander in chief. He is the picture of ultimate strength and protection, and He commands our attention, but does not demand it.
In an interview on the Early Show, after the attacks of September 11, Billy Graham's daughter, Anne was quoted as saying, "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives.
And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"
Can God feel rejected by us? I would like to boldly submit, that Yes, God often does and did.
If we are made in His image, then surely we embody some of the same emotional capacity of the One who is everything and more. If we feel rejected, then imagine what it must feel like to have the entire universe against you all at once?
Our Lord Jesus suffered the ultimate rejection. Heaven, earth, and even God the Father turned their back on Him, and yet still... like a gentleman seeing beyond the sins of the universe, He cried out on the cross, "Father forgive them. They know not what they do."
Do we reject God on a daily basis? And if so, how must it feel for Him to be rejected by us? If you have ever felt the sting of rejection, you know that it is one of the worst feelings.
If you've ever been in love, the first cut is often the deepest. I remember it well. I was in sixth grade, and I had my first crush. He was everything a girl could ever want-- a star soccer player, a man who never brought his lunch to school, and the brightest student in our class.
But, could he ever notice me? I urged my parents to buy me my first make-up kit that year. I was determined to look like my Barbie doll. Every day, I whisked past him, batting my aqua-blue mascara. I think that was the year I was named "Cutest Smile" in the yearbook. My heart was aglow. Michael had said seven words to me, "Hello Lori. You look very nice today."
Then, came that day. It must have been a sign. Just days before Valentine's Day, our teacher switched Michael's seat directly adjacent to mine. We were going to be reading partners. I was sure there would be one day very soon, when I'd "accidentally" leave my book at home and have to scoot my desk closer to him.
February 14th came quickly, and it was a day I knew I'd never forget. I quickly executed my plan, and Michael seemed rather concerned that I forgot every one of my books. My teacher was even more apprehensive. My plan had backfired, and I became a spectacle for the entire class. I was so embarrassed, Mrs. Smith asked me to leave the class and call my parents to have them deliver my books. When I got back, Michael snubbed me and never spoke to me again.
By seventh grade, my world was shattered. Of course, many of us have felt the pain of rejection on much higher scales, but for a little girl the result was complete rejection. Why? Because I put all of my heart and soul into trying to capture this boy's attention.
Isn't this how it is with God? He loves us with an unfailing, everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) that knows no boundaries.
"And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is." (Ephesians 3:18)
His love is so great, yet our love is so small. Just today, I can probably count the ways which I have disregarded Him. This morning, I didn't acknowledge the day He made for me. He was trying to vie for my attention, and I was too busy to see. Imagine God's sadness. The good news is that it's not too late. He's still waiting and eager to be as close as I will allow Him. If you are like me, I urge you to stop and come back to the Gentleman of your soul. It's really your choice.
Lord, I am sorry. I am sorry for hurting You. I accept your invitation and promise to follow you for the rest of the day. Yes, Lord... I will have this dance today.
Get ready, the God of the universe is about to take you on a great adventure. Don't let another minute pass. Let go, and let Him swoon you. Perhaps this poem called Slow Dance will help jumpstart your day.
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