Monday, January 7, 2008

Thoughts while moving spastically

There I was, on the dance floor of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, site of my roommate Mike McDonald's wedding reception. I'm dancing like an idiot. I always dance like an idiot. I have these goofy high-speed gyrations where my limbs flail like a spider trying to get up off its back. I play air guitar, but honestly don't know if I'm hearing a guitar or drums. I feel notoriously self-conscious when I dance, though the "notoriousness" is only within myself. Everyone else thinks I have no inhibitions on the dance floor, since how else could I dance like that?

In actuality, I'm wicked nervous. Whereas in regular life I have no fear of being alone -- in many situations I prefer it -- that's my worst fear on the dance floor. Everyone will look at me, dancing by myself. That I cannot deal with.

...or could not deal with, anyway. Then something occurred to me: I shouldn't care what my friend Todd Hammer thinks. It shouldn't matter what my friend Erica Hubby thinks. It certainly shouldn't matter what complete strangers think. If my comfort is truly in Christ, His should be the only opinion of concern to me. I've thought in the past that I had true freedom because I controlled my own decisions. The truth is those decisions were rooted in (and ultimately limited) by my social world -- by my commitment to myself. Well Mike, that was the wrong focus. As Galatians 5:1 tells us, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." The yoke of slavery. Me caring what people think. Same thing.

We're called to be fools for you, God. While I don't know how moving of a testimonial my "accidental robot" dance moves are, the deeper point is my motivation. Whereas I used to strive to be someone who is "free" and doesn't care what people think, the truth is that was never going to happen. The only way to actually avoid caring what people think is for my comfort -- my security -- to lie in Christ, not in anyone or anything else.

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