Dancing was always frowned upon by the small church my family attended. Cultured dance like ballet didn’t seem to be a problem, and tap was okay for little girls, but groovin’ to the music that later became popular was pretty much forbidden. Attending a conservative Christian college in the Midwest reinforced this concept, so I landed in my 20s wishing I could do The Hustle, but just didn’t dare venture in that direction.
I always loved rhythm, though, and moving to the music just seemed natural to me. I pretty much kept my love of dance a secret until closer to my 30s when I met this guy who would change my life in about a million ways – one of which was the sharing of his natural ability to boogie!
After a couple of dates, he asked if I liked to dance and if I knew how to “two-step.” Yes, he was referencing the country-western Texas two-step, a partner dance that consists of a “leader” and a “follower.” Although it initially seems a bit repetitive, there are several variations the leader can incorporate that makes the two-step fun and interesting.
I was game to learn, so he quickly set up an opportunity to teach me. “Slow, slow, quick, quick is the key,” he told me. And, he was right. In fact, over the last 35 years as we’ve danced together, I’m sure I’ve repeated those four words in my head a million times as we’ve two-stepped over one dance floor or another.
Recently, the lesson of “slow, slow, quick, quick” came rushing over me. It wasn’t on the dance floor, but in an easy chair as I read the letter that James, the brother of Jesus and a leader in the early church, wrote to Jewish Christians circa A.D. 49.
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters:
You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
Oh, how that hit home! Slow to speak, slow to get angry, and quick to listen.
Slow. Slow. Quick. Quick.
Slow to speak. Slow to get angry. Quick to listen. Quick to listen.
On … and off the dance floor … this must be my mantra. My Leader, The Good Shepherd, requires it of His followers.