This weekend, I attended my daughter's first dance recital. Though I'm new at this whole recital thing, from a purely critical standpoint I have to say:
I thought she was the best of the group. Acclaimed, poised, beautiful. Period.
I was captivated as I watched other groups - I'm not much for dance myself, uncoordinated since time out of mind - do the waltz and the rumba and the samba. They moved smoothly, these children who had yet to reach high school and some even prior to junior high, and their movements gave age and wisdom to them that they had yet to earn.
It was beautiful.
However, it also made me think of the world I live in. How the beautiful grace of the human body in coordinated motion can turn to other things. How those children, one day, may grow up and use that grace and beauty for broken and self-satisfying purposes. They grow up to be humans with the capacity for great beauty, but also for great ugliness and darkness as well.
When I'm reminded of the tension - the beauty and good in this world along with the evil - I think back to Paul's conversation with the intelligent and searching Athenians on Mars Hill and I am struck by the power of one passage:
From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ (Acts 17:26-28, NIV)
At that boundary line, where elegant dance may one day become enticement and seduction, where the goodness is turned on its ear and becomes evil and the beauty is exchanged for one bite of the fruit of ugly self-indulgence, God is there.
In all His depth, in all His worth and glory, God stands near to us even when we are at the cliff's edge of destruction. So that maybe, perhaps there is an outside chance, that we would stretch our fingers away from the darkened void and feel the breath of God's Spirit on our hands. We would know we are near to Him - perilously close to the miraculous Father - and then live in the beautiful truth that everything we do is in Him.
We live, we move, we have our being in the full view of a finite audience. One to be precise. A near depth experience is around every corner, if we would simply seek it.
Today, be on the lookout for beauty and goodness and truth in your life. Live today knowing that everything you do today is in Him - every choreographed moment of our lives are executed on the stage of life granted to us by a gracious and good Father.
And dance furiously. You are so near the depth that you seek.