Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Cup of Shake it, Don't Break it!

Alright ladies, here's what I've got. How many of you can only stink it up on the dance floor? How many of you are afraid to dance in your living room because you are afraid your children will catch the disease of "no rhythm"? Well, I feel your pain and I am here to tell you that the suffering needs to end! If I can shake it, so can you!!! I really do not love to exercise. However, Zumba is not exercise...it's an experience!

Since I last tried (and sort of failed) Zumba, my friend started a Saturday class at a local dance studio. Saturday morning I roll out of bed, put my same shorts on, sniff the t-shirt I wore to bed or choose another t-shirt from the 438 t-shirts we own, eat a bowl of pink and cream (Strawberry Frosted Shredded Wheat),give kisses and by 9:00 I'm out the door for my 9:00 class. (I was born a month late and have been trying desperately to catch up ever since!)

There are so many things I love about Saturday Zumba. The women that come are just plain fun. My friend is a blast and she loves what she is doing. Mariann is a regular and she's in her sixties! I love staring at myself for a full hour...whatever...I just love having something that I do as "Ali." This week my mind was churning.

I am a little out of practice because spring has been sort of busy and I haven't been able to be as regular (in Zumba that is). The songs that I did know came back, but my feet were still a little slow at remembering. Sohailla (I hope she doesn't care that I use her name...Sohailla, do you care?)always tells us that the music will tell us what to do. Isn't that funny? After a while it really does! It says, "Move your hiney faster!!!" Seriously, you can hear the beat, you know what is coming, you look pretty hot! So, this day I was getting into my "Chico Snap" and we even did a little funk to Coolio. I was glad to be back.

About 30 minutes into class someone came in. She was very angry and just wanted to be someplace else...so she came to Zumba. She goes a lot during the week and usually knows the songs and dances. Sohailla said, "This one isn't new, but everyone does it different, do you know it?" The woman smiled and said, "I don't know but I'll fake it if I don't!" We all laughed knowing that she just wanted to move...get some of that anxious energy out...but my mind flipped on.

"I'll just fake it." Ever been there? You can't figure out which end is up. The music is telling you to do one thing, but your feet are doing another. You don't want anyone to know that you have no idea what you are doing so you just fake it. You might fake it at church, in your neighborhood, your in-laws, your out-laws...whatever. I'm here to tell you that there is no good reason for fakers! God tells us that He has drawn us with loving-kindness. That tells me that if I don't have it all together I can walk in place to keep my heart-rate up. You pickin' up what I'm layin' down? There is no reason that we cannot look someone dead in the face and say, "I have no idea what to do. I'm lost. Show me the steps." That is a frustrating place to be. Keeping up appearances is exhausting and unnecessary. God tells us that we are precious in His sight, and honored and He loves us. (Isaiah 43) Are you in a tough spot? Did you have the rhythm and the music changed and now you are trying deperately to look like you know what you are doing? Stop. Just walk in place. Sohailla watches and will come stand beside us until we get it. What a waste to try to figure it out ourselves when God says in Jeremiah 33:3, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things that you do not know." Try it, you'll find it to be true. There is no reason to fake it.

From time to time we'll get someone who actually speaks Spanish. This is fun because usually they'll interpret the song. Sometimes the lyrics really heat things up! This last week there was a new woman who could sing the songs, but wasn't great at the dances yet...she was new. She'll catch on fast, but they were a little different. I thought about those of us who can talk the talk. We know the verbage. We speak church-ese. We say things like, "Give it to God" or we use words like repent, confess, walk the aisle, PTL, justify, sanctify, minister...I could go on. Our mouths move, but we've got two left spiritual feet. I've been here lately. My heart was just sort of stubborn, selfish is the better word. I knew what I was supposed to say, but my feet were not following the dusty road to the cross. I was just singing...not much exercise there!

One day I was joking that I watch Sohailla, the instructor, and believe that I look just like her. Then I get a glimpse of myself and think, "Well, that wasn't sexy!" I thought of Paul who says, "Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ." That is so powerful! We all follow Sohailla. She is fit, she is excited, and she can dance...she's been dancing for years. She goes to workshops, she is a dietician, she's passionate about health. I would have a hard time following someone who looked like me. I mean, I've come a long way, but I'm not in the front row. In fact, I'm the "or keep it here" girl when Sohailla adds a special something. She'll say, "you can turn here, salsa, jump"...then I say, "or keep it right here, ladies!" I'm not there. Who are you following? Are you following someone who says, "Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ?" Are you ready to dance?

I feel like I could go on and on. I could list scripture a mile long to support being real and honest with God. I could point out all of the places Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for being whitewashed tombs and I could share powerful stories of how lives have been changed because one person followed Christ and shared their life with others. If you need me to do that, I will. But, I think that we all have something to consider. Are you faking any area of your life? I am here to tell you that it's foolish and unnecessary. God knows you are lost, He's OK with it. Cry out to Him and He will answer. Are you singing? Do you know the words, but your feet aren't moving? You are missing out on the depth of an intimate relationship with Christ. Don't waste any more time. Tell God where you are and ask Him to move your feet where they can bring good news. Romans 10:15. Who are you following? Align yourself with someone who is seeking Christ with passion. Someone who lives a life worthy of the calling they have received. Don't be afraid to ask for guidance. Don't rob someone else of the beautiful opportunity that comes with being used by God. Don't be afraid to dance. Walking with God requires passion, it requires time, it requires help. Again, don't be afraid to dance...shake it, don't break it!

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." Proverbs 31:30


Hadassah said...

Um, I don't know what PTL is.

But I do know what its like to fake it.

Thats a big part of my testimony, actually. There used to be at least two of me, one real, one fake. Now there is just one me.

Paige said...

I love reading your blog girly! How ya doin? You may not even realize who this is. We will see, you can follow the links to my blog if you would like.

Linda said...

I tell you...Proverbs 31:30 has been all over ME lately...this is the 4th or 5th reference to it in the last week...it's the bible verse we (our Women's Ministry team) put on the keytags we gave to ALL women on Mother's day....wow!

V-Pass said...

Ali--what an inspiration you are! I often find myself having to be someone that I am not to please someone else or to fit in or to fill the void in my life or to try to live up to what I used to be and it is exhausting. Christ loves me for the real me and I need to realize that. I need to put everything in his hands and let it be. This blog really spoke to me at a time when I really need it. Thank you for being YOU!!!!