top of page

Just Dance!

“‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;

we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ Matthew 11:17 ESV

My wife and I went to Wildwood, Missouri for a getaway weekend. Wildwood is a smaller suburb of St. Louis that gives us just what we need to relax, eat at a favorite restaurant, and catch a movie right across the street from our hotel. While we were checking in, we noticed a concert stage being set up in the field located next to the movie theater.

After checking in and resting a bit, we got ready to take the stroll to dinner. As we walked to our dining location, we noticed people starting to show up with their lawn chairs in the field where the stage was set up. We checked into the restaurant, and had about a 20-minute wait, so we found a bench that overlooked the concert venue. As we sat there, the empty field began to fill up with people who were obviously excited to be there. They came from everywhere, and some used the occasion to celebrate birthdays by bringing balloons, small tables, and groceries. The more people that walked by, the more excited my wife and I got about what was about to happen in this small town. We inquired as to what was happening and learned that the city was hosting a community concert as part of their monthly summer events. The entertainment was a local cover band that had a huge following in the St. Louis area.

Our outdoor table was ready, and as we enjoyed our meal together, the place across the street was full of energy packed with what they estimated at about 2,000 people. While we ate dinner, we listened to the warmup act, finished our dessert, and then headed into the crowd just in time for the party to begin. As the main band, Dr. Zhivegas, started to play, people started to dance. One thing I noticed was it wasn’t the young people doing most of the dancing. It was the older ones who could not sit still. As they got up and danced, others followed. Christi and I stumbled into a party, and we were enjoying it. As I stood there swaying back and forth to the music, I heard God ask, “What do you see?”

When God asks you a question like that, He wants you to see something that is more than the obvious. As I watched with this intent to see what God was seeing, I noticed the joy people were having. The smiles, the laughter, and simply the peace for just a few moments from the busy work week, the stress of the economy, and the hassle at home. People were dancing and having a good time and it was contagious in a way that you were really grateful to be there. My wife and I looked at each other and agreed, we picked a very good weekend to get away in Wildwood.

As I reflected on what I experienced, I believe I understood what God was probing my heart with. Why do we as His children not enjoy, celebrate, and have fun in His presence? How about simply having fun in our living rooms with our families and friends? Why does everything have to be so serious? Why do we allow mainstream media to dictate our moods? Why do we allow them to steal the moments of playing, dancing, and having fun? Sure, there are serious moments. Life is not always a party. There is grief, loss, and hard work. Life is hard on its own without us making it harder. But I am writing right now to believers who have lost the joy. You have gotten too serious. You have stopped the sway to the rhythm of God’s heart. You stopped dancing. Maybe you didn’t even start. After all, some of us were told not to dance.

Please do not interpret this devotion as an invitation to go clubbing. Let’s get our discernment level up a notch if that is what you think. I am talking about enjoying life, finding the moments to celebrate and just dance. When I was going through my season of high anxiety, I asked my doctor what I should do when I feel the stress, the fear that wants to paralyze. She looked at me and said, “Just dance!” I looked at her for something a little more than that, but she was right. When life has a choke hold on you, we just need to dance.

Jesus in our text was comparing His listeners to a group of children who were hard to please. Nothing seemed to satisfy them. They were not happy about anything. They rejected the dance in exchange for religion. They did not believe John the Baptist nor Jesus. One they said had a demon and the other was a glutton and drunkard because He was a friend to those who needed Him. The religious chose to not be happy and, by all means possible, still obey the law. Sound familiar? Are you trying so hard to be right with God that you have lost the joy of being with Him? How about your church family? Has hurt and offense caused you to come to church nasty and mean? Has life got a choke hold on you?

For my wife and I, the concert venue in that small town was a pleasant surprise. We have been busy with the burdens of life and working hard to get our jobs for Jesus done. The weekend was designed to breathe a little bit and that we did. While the band played and the people danced, it was as if it was all orchestrated for us to see God’s heart. The Church has a mission. We have our responsibilities to preach Jesus with our lives. SO let us take a break from our mullygrubs and begin to enjoy Jesus, and when you hear the music, just dance!


bottom of page