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When life is a dance

A Christian Science perspective: "Dancing with the stars" reminds this viewer that the art of dancing well is like the art of living well.

Ballroom dancing. Many people love it, whether they’re the ones dancing or they’re watching the pros. The fact that the 13th season of “Dancing with the Stars” began this week indicates how popular ballroom dancing is.

The live TV show pairs celebrities and professional dancers who train together and perform in front of a panel of judges and an audience. Viewers at home can vote for their favorite pair.

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Many people who have taken dance lessons, as my husband and I have, know that learning to dance is a real discipline. Good dancing takes practice as well as partnership. Dancing can be all at the same time an expression of fun, independence, form – and the freedom of nonconformity. But dancing does have one restriction. To be a good dancer you have to move to the music being played.

A good dancer knows what to do before stepping forward. First, listen to the music. Next, recognize and consent to the beat in order to go ahead gracefully. And then it is the dancer’s job to move forward without hesitation.

The art of dancing well is much like the art of living well. The requirements are basically the same, you could say – listen, consent, and move forward.

For harmonious and free living, what is the music one listens to? Based on my study of Christian Science, I believe it is the tones of harmony produced by God. What is the beat we consent to? Only that which is spiritual – Godlike, good. Then we can move forward without hesitation, right?

It’s not always that easy. Even though we may long for harmony, freedom, and health, instead of fear, limitation, and sickness, we sometimes hesitate to move forward spiritually – hesitate to seek God, the source of these qualities. We hesitate to seek the voice of Truth – the Christ, which communicates God’s goodness to humanity.

Whatever causes hesitation – be it fear of change or of giving up what’s familiar, or worry about the future – we can consent to let the Christ touch our heart, and then move forward with the healing, spiritual ideas that come to us. Whether one comes to this choice as a “natural” or has to make a steady effort to learn, turning to the Christ consistently takes practice. But we are never dancing alone.

In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” the founder of the Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy, spoke of moving forward spiritually with this powerful imperative: “We must look where we would walk, and we must act as possessing all power from Him in whom we have our being” (p. 264). To me, that means: Listen to the music, consent to the beat, and move forward without hesitation.

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