Recently, someone asked me if I believed in dancing. I actually get this question surprisingly often. When I say my church is Baptist, people ask me this. They ask it in funny ways too. “You aren’t one of those Baptists who doesn’t drink or dance are you?” That’s literally how people ask me that question. This always astonishes me. Of all the things you could be a proponent of, drinking and dancing? I thought something intrinsically valuable would be something people would stand up for, something like life, or penguins, but no, drinking and dancing.
The last time I got asked about dancing I sorta lied. I said I didn’t believe in dancing. But I do. I do! I went dancing just the other day. I danced on Interstate 35. And I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a 15 passenger van grind, but that day mine did – ground at 85 miles an hour. I know the sign said 65, but it was the kind of grinding that required 85. 85 mile-an-hour grinding has more octane, more passion, more, more.
My van shimmied and swayed. And I nearly twirled around the corners. The choreography was beautiful: 18-wheelers changing lanes in sync with vans and sedans, partner exchanging partner, and on the line dance went, the weaving, the spinning, the noise, the lights.
And my van shuddered, shuddered I think for the love of just being there among the teeming loud, oh so beautifully loud, hurrying people, hurrying, yes, but dancing, maybe subconsciously, but dancing, really dancing.
In a film about soccer, a player said that soccer is dancing. But I think dancing is so much more than a sport. Dancing is an expression of life. To dance is to say, “I am purposefully living,” because you can’t really dance on accident. You can jump, you can skip, you can lose and find your balance on accident, but you can only dance purposefully, because dancing is unnatural. When you dance you take your gangly legs and make them follow your feet in a frenzy of fast motions. (Well, that’s the way I dance.) It’s weird and bizarre. And you only do it for one reason: to feel alive. You feel the wind your limbs make as they flap about. Your blood flows faster; you breathe faster; your heart beats wilder, and you live.
Pollyanna heard her schedule of chores and studying and exclaimed: “But when do I have time to live?” And this is my question to you: when do you take time to live, really live?