Boys lined one side of the gym. Girls lined the other side. The Great Wall of China, the Nile River, and the Grand Canyon separated us from one another. We didn't dream of trying to mingle. Oh yes, I am referring to a sixth-grade dance. I was talking to my friends, giggling, in my complete and utter comfort zone when I heard girls whisper and start pointing. Apparently, a boy was bravely making his way across the Great Wall of China, the Nile River, and the Grand Canyon to the girls' side of the room as everyone else watched in horror. I turned around just in time to see that, oh yes, the only boy who is making his way to the girls' side of the room WOULD BE MY DATE. My twelve-year-old heart began to beat wildly as I wished with every inch of my body that I had Harry Potter's invisibility cloak. WHY was he coming over here? Everyone was watching, and of course, he was heading straight towards me. Don't get me wrong, I loved my date. He was a great friend and usually highly intelligent (I suppose he had a brainfart when he decided to walk across the room), but I certainly did not want to be the only boy and girl talking. When he reached me, I am sure my face was the brightest shade of red on the color wheel, and with absolute horror, he said the words "Do you want to dance?"
"DO I WANT TO DANCE?" Was that even a logical question? I was only twelve years old. The only thing I had ever danced around with before was the vaccuum, a broom, or my friends when we made our 1000th Nsync or Backstreet Boys dance routine. Did I want to dance? SURE, let's dance in the middle of the Great Wall of China, the Nile River, and the Grand Canyon while NO ONE else is dancing and EVERYONE is watching. Grrreeaatt idea. That'swhat I should have said. Yet, I couldn't say no after he had voyaged this great, long distance to come ask me, so with the world's population of butterflies residing in my stomach, I weakly said "sure." Yep, that's right folks. SHELBY MCKENZIE, the girl who would two years later fall on the floor at the middle of an eighth grade dance (these were much more lively than 6th grade) trying to bust a move, the girl who tried to do a hitch-kick for a cheerleading dance and literally landed flat on her back trying, and the COLLEGE FRESHMAN whose date party date spun her so fast she fell flat on her bottom on a BAR FLOOR, was the FIRST person to break the ice and dance at the FIRST DANCE. You should be real impressed if you haven't caught on yet.
So, as everyone else watched, my date and I made our way to the center of the room. When we got there, I thought the terror was over. I looked up at my date (he was much taller than me unlike the rest of the boys in sixth grade who were shorter than their dates) to see how he intended to start this ceremonial dance, and then these words came,
"Shelby, I DO NOT KNOW how to dance."
YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DANCE? I was enraged. This was an almost as tragic as Nsync splitting up- I wish I could disappear straight through this floor right now-why in the WORLD would you ask me to dance with you and be the only person out here if you have no idea how to dance- ASHTON KUTCHER WHERE ARE YOU, I WILL GLADLY SAY I AM BEING PUNK'D-situation. Once again, these were the thoughts I had running through my head, but once again, I couldn't have this breakdown in front of the entire sixth grade. So I took a deep breath and said, "just put your hands here, and slowly move back and forth." So right there, in the center of the room, my date and I started the first dance, and of course, we were at complete arm's length apart and quite possibly could have just been touching each other with our fingertips. Thankfully, some of my date's friends follwed suit soon after we began, and others started dancing, and at the end of the night, I do believe it was a success. If you are laughing right now, you are welcome for the Lucy moment. I'd love to share my painfully humiliating experiences with you again just to make your day a little brighter.
So, what's my lesson from this day of the life of Lucy? Although most of you think you have never and will never experience the situation I just described, I promise you at some point in your life you will. No, you won't be twelve-years-old, and a boy won't be gliding across the room to ask you to dance. However, when you're in the middle of your comfort zone, God is going to come gliding across the room, and He is going to ask you to dance. You, like me, are going to panic and wonder if he's really serious. You can't be the first one to step away from the comfort zone. You're only "twelve-years-old." (Fill in with your own personal justification) You're not capable of doing what He's asking. What will everyone else think and say? Please just ask someone else. But, He IS going to ask you, and most likely, if you say no, He's going to ask again. Who knows, maybe He's asking you because he knows others are watching, and He knows people will start dancing if you do. He also may be asking you to dance so you can teach other people how to dance. The point is, you have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone and go to the center of the room with God when He asks you to dance.
Secondly, just as my date made his way across the Great Wall of China, the Nile River, and the Grand Canyon to ask me to dance, God voyages across even longer distances to reach you. The segregation of the room did not stop my date from coming to ask me to dance. Likewise, no separation is going to stop God from seeking you. I don't think that registers with us sometimes. God, the creator of Heaven and Earth, is WILLING and DESIRES to voyage past the Great Walls of your heart, of your sins, of your doubts, of your fears, of your resistance to be with you. He voyages past the separation as long as the Nile. He bridges the Grand Canyon through the cross and comes just to meet with you. If you don't feel humbled and honored and completely in awe of that thought, then I don't know what else to say to you. I know I take that for granted all of the time, but when you think about it, it's life-changing (literally).
So, as you go throughout life living in your cozy little comfort zone, be ready for when God comes asking you to dance. I hope you don't miss out because it just might be the best experience of your life. And more importantly than that, live in the peace and love that comes from a God who will travel any distance just to be with you. Just to dance with you.