I’m convinced that all of us (some more than others) have a tendancy to take life and religion too seriously. Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things if we take a beverage into worship with us? Is it really horrible if I feed my kids chocolate cake for breakfast? Will lightning strike if I make fun of Jesus freaks who wear “Jesus is my homeboy” shirt and WWJD bracelets? (Not that there is anything wrong with that.)
At a former church, in what feels like a former life, we got in trouble for having too much fun, because, you see, “fun” is not in the Bible. Whatever happened to “eat, drink and be merry” (Eccl. 3:13, my paraphrase) or King David dancing nearly naked (oops, we’re not supposed to talk about that) before God in celebration (2 Sam. 6:14)?
I’m firmly convinced that life is meant to be lived abundantly, in all it’s wonder, beauty and pain. Last weekend I led a women’s retreat entitled “And She Will Dance…” and we talked about what it means for our spirits to dance through life, allowing ourselves to feel the depth of our emotions and then to allow them to be released in dancing before God – laughing, crying, hurting, celebrating. The most beautiful part was watching these women, coming from various places in life, some really good and some really difficult, all smile and laugh while watching Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia sing “Dancing Queen.” A bunch of us even risked looking totally foolish and played the song over and over learning the movements to it. Honestly, it was hysterical (especially me in my Eeyore pjs! The pictures have been confiscated.) But more importantly, it was good for the soul. It brought us light and laughter and love despite whatever may have been weighing us down. I think that is what Anne Lamott talks about when she says, “and she is going to dance, dance hungry, dance full, dance each cold astonishing moment, now when she is young and again when she is old.”