I Could Have Missed the Pain But I’d Had to Miss the Dance

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And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it would all end
The way it would all go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain,
But I’d had to miss the dance.
Garth Brooks, “The Dance”
I have finished the last chapter in my book. I have the conclusion to read and The Reader’s Prayer then I will close the book. Although I close the book it will remain open forever in my heart. 
This was the opening statement in the book. I have always loved that song. My dance is not coming to then end (at least I hope not just yet) but as I reflect back to the beginning of the dance I am glad I didn’t know where God was leading me or the things I would experience and the circumstances I would have to live through. 
Just as the song says I could have missed the pain but I’d had to miss the dance.
As a child I didn’t know about pain. I was always healthy and never broke any bones. The only pain I knew was about losing Aunts and Uncles and classmates even at a young age to death.
It wasn’t until I was a young adult that I began to experience such horrific pain. Some of it was almost unbearable other times it was just hard. That part of the dance was not pleasant and I often wondered why he was leading me through those dark times of the dance. For me the dance was ugly and not pleasant. It could have been so easy to let go of my dance partner and dance on my own or not dance at all. 
As I look back though I fully understand why he led me to those dark places and why we danced there. You see I am the person I am today because of those experiences and those circumstances. Did I enjoy it? No, but now I am grateful. Some one once asked me, “If you could go back and live your life over would you change it?” My reply, “Was no. I wouldn’t be who I am today. Even though it was difficult it was necessary.” “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Circumstances, experiences and situations mold us, make us, or break us. It’s our choice. There were some events that broke me and I chose not to dance with Christ. I broke the dance off. At a different time when I was ready Christ offered me his hand and we danced once more. Difficult times came again and instead of dropping his hand I followed His lead and let those experiences mold me. I danced with him and allowed him to take me to those places I didn’t like to go just so I could be what he wanted me; so he could make me. 
There have been times in my life I’ve looked back and it has been exhilarating and I wondered how I could have kept up with him. There have been some exciting dance steps and some moves I didn’t know I was able to make, but he knew I could do them so he led away. 
We all have had times when we wondered why we were led down that path or what part that played in our lives, but the answer for me is simple: so I can be who I am in Christ today. 
And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it would all end
The way it would all go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain,
But I’d had to miss the dance.
I still don’t know how it will all end. I don’t know the way it will all go or where he will lead me as we continue to dance together. I’d don’t want to leave anything to chance, missing the pain would be nice but then missing the dance would be a shame. So for now I will continue allowing Christ to lead me, I will follow His dance steps, go where he leads me and maybe learn a few more new moves. 
Some days will be exhilarating, some days will be tiring and some days I might just want to miss the dance but I won’t because I know my dance partner won’t let me fall. “God won’t let your foot slip. Your protector won’t fall asleep on the job.” Psalm 121:3
Think about your own dance. Where has God taken you and how has the dance molded you? Have you been molded, made into a new creature or have you been broken? If you have been broken God is holding his hand out for you to take and start the dance. Don’t be afraid it will be good. It’s a dance you don’t want to miss.
Dear Lord: Sometimes the dance has been difficult and not enjoyable and other times it has been exhilarating. At times it was challenging and I didn’t always get the steps right. I stepped on toes, turned when I shouldn’t have and messed up, but you never let me go. You’ve never told me I wouldn’t make a good dance partner. Instead, you have encouraged me, pushed me, and taught me some new moves. The dance keeps going. I know what lies ahead will be what has been; sometimes challenging, exhilarating, exasperating, and wondrous.  I will continue to miss the steps, step on toes, and mess the dance up. Thank you for taking my hand and choosing to dance with me. I’d like to miss the pain, but I sure don’t want to miss the dance. Amen
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