May 1, 2013: The Dance

~by Louis Templeman

I recently heard of a G. K. Chesterton comment on an idea from Dante, that life is a dance and not a race. Like a dance life has its rhythms. Life has order, repetitive movements, community involvement, and partners. It requires a large investment of time, energy and resources from a body of people. There needs to be musicians, a host with a large room, special clothes, practice, food, catering, management, etc. A dance requires order and people working together to produce a wonderful event. It is a production of beauty, a coordination of skills and labor in order to have fun, and make memories. An event where everybody does what they do so that everybody enjoys it. It makes a moment in time. It doesn’t really make a product. There is no single winner. When the participants leave they take only memories. There is no glory for any certain one unless everyone has a good time.

A race, however, is centered upon the skill and performance of individuals. One person gets a crown only because he/she defeats all other entries. A race is a mad rush to defeat others. Where in a dance you are expected to enjoy graceful moments with others, in a race you are expected to shut out others. And, spectators at a race find joy in cheering for the defeat of all but the one they bet on.

As Christians, people of hope and faith, our role is to prove our love for God by the way we love others. In this life we are not the only ones at the dance. We must make memories by gracefully interacting with others in the love of God.

~Louis Templeman

Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D.

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