I stepped outside this morning, coffee in hand. It is simply part of my morning routine to take step out onto our deck, take in a deep breath of morning air and stretch. There is just something to morning air, that when one takes the time to breathe it in deeply, fills you with contentment and anticipation of the days events. Fredric Bonhoeffer, in his book “Life Together” stated “at the dawn of every day stands Jesus.” That is how I greeted my morning on this particular day.
There was a sharp breeze that made the tree tops rustle and groan with constant swaying. The air was drier, crisper than usual; something that is a great relief from our usual humidity where even the morning air feels thick. The sky bright, the light pure, all these things in combination gave the day a personality of humor, excitement and anticipation as one feels when about to be gleefully tickled.
As I took in another breath of morning air I raised my face and hands to the sky in a gesture of both greeting and thanksgiving to the Most High. “How should I celebrate you today?” tumbled out. I was jolted by the question, even though it had been spoken by my own lips. At first startled, but then realizing it was a legit and serious question. “How WILL I celebrate You today?” I often praise,give thanksgiving, even consciously try to reflect His greatness, . . . but to celebrate Him — not in Him, but Him alone.
What does it mean to celebrate? The question wrestled within me. How is that different from joy, rejoicing, worship? I think of parties with overwhelming happiness, re-unions of loved ones who had been apart. I think of the word tribute. Is that what life is truly supposed to be — To give tribute to. Is my life a daily tribute, a celebration of Him?
I reflect back to the words of Genesis and the meaning behind the words “made in the image of God.” One way to translate this from the Hebrew is that we are not made in his likeness, as much as we are made as a tribute to Him. Am I a tribute to Him? Is my life a tribute to Him? Yes. I am called to be His image bearer. I am called to reflect His beauty. I am called to reflect His light into a dark and broken world. — How do I celebrate you today?
In my life I am called into His presence. He is calling me and asking me to use and give my life in a way to glorify Him. I am to celebrate Him by accepting the dance He has designed my life to be. There is a dance which He has choroagraphed just for me. dance a dance that will glorify Him. Angela Thomas describes it as God wanting to sweep you into His arms, lead the dance, and you respond with your life.
I think back to Disney’s movie “The Sword and the Stone.” There is a scene from this movie where the child, Author, comes into Merlin excited that he has been promoted to the level of squire. He expects Merlin to be excited for him. Instead, Merlin shows frustration asking him, “a squire? That it it? A squire? You are excited over being a squire?” Author is heartbroken. Merlin is angry. But Merlin is not angry with him because he is squire, he is angry with him because Merlin wants so much more and knows Author is capable of so much more. Author is selling himself short of who he really is.
I think that is often how God sees me. I am excited over my small accomplishments. I become excited, and my Father who has made plans for me shakes His head at me because he has much greater things planned for me. He has plans for me that are wonderful, and I settle for the trivial. I am happy, and settle for being just a squire.
But I am afraid to accept His invitation. Fear as usual grips me. I want to stand on the side-lines and watch someone else dance. I also want to accept the dance, and I want it to be beautiful. — but I am so afraid. What if I stumble? What if I appear foolish, or what if I do not represent Him well? What if I do not succeed in bringing Him glory, praise, and honor? He promises me that He will lead, and that it will be beautiful if I will trust His steps. He made this dance with me in mind. It is a dance that is designed to show off my strengths, and hide my weakness. I try to accept, but in my fear I create a few of my own steps and trip. It creates more fear and I try to step away, out of His arms; but reluctant to let me go, He tilts my chin toward Him so I can hear Him whisper, “It is ok, try again.” And I do.
“Father, help me be trusting enough to let you lead my life dance. Help me be brave enough to accept. Some of the steps are tricky and I am scared of falling! Although you will be my lead always, right now be a very strong one until I learn the steps well enough to dance without you whispering the exact moves into my ear. Thank you, that until that time, you will carry me in a way that no one will know how badly I tremble with fear.”