The dress rehearsal Tango
by Douglas Eckert
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The dress rehearsal tango*-
Why is it that we must live in two worlds? Right there, within our own minds, why do we so effortlessly pass back and forth between these two realities? We Dance joyfully, but only for a moment, within one, and then painfully dredge along endlessly in the other. Within one, it shows to us all, what we can gloriously become. Within the other, it shows to us all, that which we begrudgingly are. These two worlds... One might call them our reality versus fantasy, or our dreams versus our awakened state, or our desired life versus our actual life, or our potential realized versus our potential wasted ... on and on. These two worlds can be called by any number of things. I think everybody knows what I talk of, yet not many dare speak of these two worlds that we become so intimately comfortable with within our own minds. At least not openly or honestly. But does the understanding of this duality, and the true understanding of what it is, become the key for all of us? To understand that these two perceptions lie behind everything that we are, and everything that we want to be, and everything that stands between the merging of these two conflicted worlds into ONE glorious "musical dance". To becoming exactly what the Lord created for each of us to be.
I think that these two worlds can most accurately be labeled: "The world of Love, (The one that our Creator desires for us) versus the world of Fear". It is often said that the opposite of love is not hate, but in fact, fear. As I will illustrate, this is what seems to be most painfully AND gloriously true.
We all have rightness and goodness, fairness and justice, and a sense of what is true love and what is truly beautiful, versus what is truly wretched and truly hateful and evil etched upon our hearts. This fact is confirmed by this Bible verse:
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world Godâ€™s invisible qualitiesâ€”his eternal power and divine natureâ€”have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
Romans 1:18-20 NIV
We all know what we WANT to see happen in our lives. It is always, in our own deepest place, consistent with our etched upon heart's desire for Godly goodness and justice and beauty. This is true in every aspect of our life, in every way that we walk, and in every battle that we face. This is true, despite what our own personal, exact religious beliefs even are. Is THIS even what could be considered to be the very Music of what drives our lives? We sometimes might convince ourselves that this isn't true, but it is a deception. We ALL know beauty when we see it. We ALL know love when we see it. We know evil when we see it. We even know justice when we see it.
The one and only thing that disrupts our abilities to see these true desires that are etched into our souls, and to reach their prescribed, loving destination in us, is our fear. Fear IS the other world. Fear is the world of our reality, our awakened life, our potential wasted, our dark side. Fear is the robber of everything that we desire to become. Fear is what keeps us from being everything that the Lord created us to be. Fear is our hated intimate dance partner that we tango with, that holds us hostage in life. Is fear the very thing that drowns out our ability to even hear the Glorious Music? It keeps its tight grip upon us. It leads us away from gloriously dancing in that other longed for world, the world of love. The world where, once in awhile, we "hear" just enough of the music to get fear to let go, and curtsy back to us. This experience of God's True, Lovely Music happens just long enough to allow us a good "sense" of what it is that we are missing out on, and what it is we CAN become. This, only to be brought once again, after a quick, dizzying spin, back into its cold, forcefully deaf, regrettably leading arms.
There is only one place, or source for us to swap out and overcome this death grip with our deafening dance partner named "Fear" for one musical partner called "LOVE". That is in the Word. The Word that became flesh . THIS is where the BIG DANCE of our lives takes place. The place where we can faithfully practice and hear, and learn, and get our "dance moves"...wrong, and then practice and faithfully learn some more, and get our dance moves... wrong, yet again (hopefully a little more gracefully). Over and over we faithfully hear and practice and learn, and learn and practice and hear the moves of this love dance from our NEW Instructor. Our loving dance partner, The Holy Spirit Creator of the "Music", or the Word, a.k.a Jesus.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:1 NIV
It is said that the Word has over 5400 "dance moves", or God's divine promises in it. Could it be, that if we start rehearsing just a few of these promising dance moves, and getting them down better and better faithfully everyday, that we can begin our journey of Gracefully dancing WITH, or abiding WITH our Loving dance partner, Jesus? He may even get us dancing with more and more of His Glorious moves! This sounds and looks much, much more freeing than our stumbling along, and being lead by that ugly, old, rigid fear. This is the kind of intimate "dress rehearsal tango" that I am faithfully embarking on. Accomplishing this successfully on some days more than others. I thank the Lord that I still hear the Music and dance better everyday!
Title inspired, loosely by the great Leonard Cohen song "Dress Rehearsal rag". This song, in a way, beautifully illustrates two kinds of worlds that we often find ourselves being tortured by. A haunting, and profoundly beautiful work of the late, great Mr. Cohen.
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