Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Life Lessons from Tap Dancing

I swear I have not flipped my lid.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, many of you have probably seen someone tap dancing at some point in your life - either at a Broadway show, a local theater, or your own children's dance recital.  Getting up the speed necessary for "good tap" takes time, practice, and patience.

The heart of tap dance is balance.  If you cannot return back to the center and keep yourself upright you are not a tap dancer for very long.  You officially become a tap faller as you sprawl on the wooden floor looking up and wondering whatever possessed you to decide to nail 2 pieces of metal on each of your shoes and attempt movement.

Balance - the key to good tap dancing and the key to life.  When we fail to have balance in our spiritual life we end up sprawled on the floor, sometimes on purpose prostrate before Him, other times more accidental and haphazard. We fall on our own sword, repenting and pleading for His mercy.
Photo courtesy of Chastity Martin.  This was her Mass of Consecration during the Litany of the Saints.
The amazing thing to me is that He meets us there, in that deep, dark, unspeakable place and calls us forward.  We are not left abandoned in those moments of weakness and pain but compelled forward to healing and beauty.  He restores our balance in these moments with His Sacrifice on the Cross for us and for many.

The beauty is not in the falling, but in the restoration.  Can you recall a time when you fell from His Grace?  When you lost your balance and hold on the world and it tilted sideways and became obscured and even possibly unrecognizable?  Do you remember the Grace that came after as you found your footing again?  As you pulled yourself up off the floor with His help and began the journey again?  Can you recollect the little "everyday miracles" that happened as you found your way back to the path He placed you on?

As you dusted yourself off and set your eyes back on the goal of Heaven with purpose and determination you began your journey anew.  Reaching toward Him you renewed your promises of Baptism, Confirmation, and perhaps even your own vows of vocation as you found yourself propelled forward. We fear the fall, but we rejoice in the return.  Just like the Prodigal Son we are welcomed back with open arms and we move forward in purpose. 

Falling is necessary in our growth.  No Saint short of the Blessed Virgin Mary managed a path to heaven without pitfalls.  Not one of us is without sin and failure no matter how polished and perfect we may appear to be on the outside.  Just like the tap dancer beginning to learn toes, heels, shuffles, and stops, it may not always be pretty on the outside, but it is for the better glory of Him in the long haul.

A lady embraces these falls as they come.  She allows trials and tribulations to sanctify rather than destroy.  She brings herself closer to God at the precise moment that the world is pulling her away.  She rejoices in truth and hope as she sojourns on in her walk until she reaches the arms of the Father in fervent hope and prayer that she will be embraced by Him and hear the words, "Well Done".

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