We played the flute for you, and you did not dance.
I have a friend who went on a retreat recently. Many things had been in her heart, and she needed the time to sit and discern where God might be calling her. Over the years, questions of vocation had come her way. At times she felt called to serve as a priest. At others, she knew she was called to a more prophetic voice as a layperson. And still at others, she wondered if God were asking her to be the voice of the oppressed, fighting for justice as a vocational deacon in her church.
But for some reason, perhaps the Church’s fear, perhaps her own indecision, she had arrived at a place where she had no idea what to do. This time her discernment was leading nowhere. She felt stuck—stuck in a moment.
So she went to a small hermitage, and there a miraculous thing happened—she danced. All by herself, without any music that the world could hear, she danced. In the midst of her holy place, her cell as the Desert Mothers would have called it, she took an extraordinary step and danced with God.
She’s not sure how long it lasted—a few minutes, half an hour, maybe longer. But the important thing was the fact that she danced. She heard the flute of God playing right next to her and she trusted enough to take the risk.
God calls all of us to the dance. It’s not always an easy one and the music is not always what we expect. But when we listen in the stillness of our souls, we find a music that God is composing for us day by day. When we hear it, accept it and move according to God’s rhythms, we live as the person called into being for that day. Sometimes, we get answers to life questions in those moments. At other times we just dance, no more. But when we hear God’s music, we participate in the dance that began over the waters of the deep when the Word of God moved and called all into being.
And what a feeling that is.
Jesus, you ask me to stop and hear the music. Open my heart to the rhythm of your life, help me let go, take my hand, and show me the dance. Amen.
Copyright © 2008 Michael Sullivan.