THE HUG AND SHUFFLE

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Written by Wayne Giroux

A number of years ago, my wife discovered a fantastic deal on one of those discount websites.  Four private dance lessons for couples at a local dance studio.  Her heart was filled with excitement and mine sank.  I do not like dancing, but somehow I was talked into going.  Our first lesson was okay; not amazing or exciting, but okay.  Since I have absolutely no rhythm or ability to move my arms and legs with any sense of purpose, I was proud that I had made it through the first lesson unharmed.

During our second lesson, the instructor informed us that she was going to teach us how to slow dance.  Now, I don’t like dancing, but I’ve been to enough weddings to know how to slow dance.  She did not miss the “I know how to do that” look on my face, which caused her to launch into a tirade about the “hug and shuffle.”

With overwhelming passion, she denounced what you and I would call slow dancing.  Her lips curled in disgust as she described how society has reduced dancing to essentially giving the other person a hug and shuffling around with them.  While she was unsuccessful at teaching me how to dance, she did make a good argument.

Have you ever seen good dancing? I mean really good dancing. Whether it is ballet or hip hop, great dancing stands out.  Over the years I have pastored several students who were dancers and I have been to numerous dance shows.  While I do not like dancing, I like watching good dancing.  I love the way the dancers are in sync with the music and with each other.  There is something powerful about when they all move in the same way at the same time. 

I think this concept applies to our spiritual lives as well.  For many of us, we have been introduced to a God that loves us and we respond by accepting and committing to follow His ways.  Sadly, sometimes we are unable to fully understand what that means or how that looks in our lives.  We end filling our time with a spiritual “hug and shuffle.” Whereby we just move through this life randomly and fail to continually connect with our Saviour. But in his letter to the people of the Galatian region, Paul encourages us toward more.

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit

Galatians 5:25 (NIV)

I imagine, like majestic dancers, we are called to be IN STEP with the Spirit of God; moving and reacting in the ways that God leads us.  I can imagine God as a fantastic choreographer designing routines and movements that are exhilarating and empowering.  As we dance with Him, our growth becomes evident, we learn new moves, push ourselves to the limit and He stretches us in many ways.  We have much more that is available to us than the plain old shuffling around that we see on the dance floor of your older sister’s wedding.

That is what we desire for Overflow this year.I don’t mean we want to make you dance around, but instead let the analogy sink in.Imagine a life that follows after the leading of His Spirit.Imagine being so close to God’s heart that you literally move in sync.I believe that He wants to bring us to a place where we are IN STEP with Him.