Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Dance of Life

Ok, I admit it. I love Dancing with the Stars. Now I have not been the most loyal of fans. I liked it when Kelly Osborne was on it but haven't watched much of the show. This season I have been tuning in a lot more frequently. It may sound ridiculous but I feel the show has helped me be a better person. When I heard the list of stars for this season, I wasn't too excited. I find Jersey Shore to be annoying. The Palins are the poster family for American Christianity which has turned me off of them. Not one of the stars who would be performing this season beckoned me to watch and cheer them on. But I tuned in anyways. And I have found myself beckoned to a higher quality of character.
Those who I would possibly criticize or wish against, have found a soft place in my heart. I was pleasantly surprised by Bristol Palin and found myself cheering for her. The Situation, well he has been what I expected. But I am not wishing him off the show. Yes, watching him has been painful. He does lack a bit of grace and musicality. But I find the pain I feel in watching him is not because his lack of talent. I feel pain for him as he learns to dance in front of the American Public.
I cut my teeth on preaching at seminary, nervously in front of my preaching class of 30. It took all I could do to stand in front of THE Dr. J. Elsworth Kalas, one who has authored numerous books on preaching and was the seminary president at the time. Dr. Kalas demanded all who preached in his class to do so without any notes. And so in one semester, I preached three times in front of a group of ragamuffins trying to become preachers and Dr. Kalas. Oh, and the time I was invited to preach in the seminary chapel for the last chapel of the school year, I was incredibly nervous there too. I stood in front of not only Dr. Kalas but the new seminary president, Dr. Tennent. The congregation also included Dr. Richter, Dr. Pohl, Dr. Dongell, Dr. Seamands, the list goes on and on of professors who taught me, who have written books and read the Bible in the original languages. I learned to preach under great pressure. But this pressure is nothing compared to The Situation's, well, situation. My audience was no where in the same ballpark as Dancing with the Stars. But most importantly, my audience was nothing like the American Public. Yes, there were Biblical scholars in my audience. But they were on my side. They wanted me to bring the Word of God clearly with grace and hope. They wanted me to succeed. I am sure there are many who want the Situation to succeed. He is still on the show as of today (tonight's result show may have a different perspective.) But I wonder how many also just want a juicy story on the Situation or on Bristol Palin.
And so, I find myself being a little more gracious. I am not sure I will be sorry when the Situation is voted off the show. I don't expect Bristol to make it too much further either. But I find myself cheering for them because I too have "learned to dance with words" in public.
I wonder....perhaps I need to see life as a dance and all of us like "the amateur stars" learning to dance the Argentine Tango without learning the basic "step, ball, change" in front of the world. Maybe the world would be different or maybe, I would be different.

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