Unwrapping the pink leather ballet shoes from the box, I notice their simplicity: thin and soft, fitted with elastic and a small bow. Just holding the slippers ignites the little girl in me, and I immediately put them on even though my first class doesn’t begin for hours.
I fold laundry, make lunch, and even do my yearly taxes while wearing the slippers. Between each mundane task, I catch myself making up ballet positions and giving my dogs mini performances. They seem mildly amused, and I can’t help by laugh at myself.
I have always loved watching ballet concerts: an expression of grace put in fluid motion. And although I have never owned a tutu, I have certainly watched in admiration professional ballerinas don their ballet costumes with the same level of comfort as I have holding a warm cup of tea.
My adventures tend to fit neatly within my level of ease. And as I age, maintaining security and routine often replaces youthful spontaneity. And yet, here I am doing a demi plié as I put my lunch plate in the dishwasher.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
For some reason, this verse comes to mind as I scan my closet trying to find an outfit to wear to my first ballet class. I settle for a black tank top and black yoga pants (an outfit I wear more to bed than to workout). With one final glance in the mirror, security and routine leave me as I head to class.
I am an odd duck as I enter the dance studio: unqualified to be signing my name to the list of ballerinas in attendance. I now own ballet shoes, but that doesn’t mean I can dance. And yet, God sets something in my heart that already makes me feel like a dancer.
I recognize this feeling – the peace of something more – something behind me, with me, and before me. I experience God setting eternity in my heart daily. I understand that I am more than an aging frame, more than my past experiences, more than the girl wearing new slippers, and more than the memories I will have tomorrow of today. And although I do not understand the mysterious workings of God, I trust the peace the Holy Spirit provides. And I believe my soul is already living into eternity – an eternity created by the One who was present from the very beginning.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
I recognize this peace is from God; and yet, I sometimes act as if God’s peace is as temporary as youth. Living in an emotionally charged world, it is easy to complicate God and celebrate sin. It is easy to be a Christian who desires security and routine more than the desire to step foot upon a worldly stage ready to label you judgmental and out-of-date.
The mirror reveals my age, but my soul feels as new as my pink shoes. God gives me new life daily, and my soul will most certainly outlast the whole of my attempts on this earth to do His will. In this realization, I must ask myself, “Knowing God is eternal, and I belong to Him, then why do remain comfortable rather than fervently move to make Him known in this dying world?”
God desires us to share Jesus - “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). My friend, life is now – yet many don’t truly live. Are we stepping out with our testimony of faith and sharing Jesus? Or do we keep our faith to ourselves?
As I place one hand on the barre learning a new ballet position, I catch my reflection in the mirror. I don’t see an aged woman. I don’t see a clumsy girl without a ballet costume. I see a child of God dancing outside her comfort zone. And I must confess – I feel more alive than I ever anticipated… elated with peace.
The first part of Ecclesiastes 3:11 returns to my mind: “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
Regardless of my mistakes, I dance.
God’s expression of grace washes over me in such a rush that it tickles my soul and exposes itself in a smile I cannot conceal. I understood at this moment that God doesn’t desire for me to be qualified, He desires for me to be willing. Willing to move beyond what is easy and into the messy mission field called “day by day.”
It is never too late to begin because God is never late.
What is God calling you to do today?
SGLY, dear reader.
(Smile, God Loves You.)
Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian Author and opinion columnist. Submit feedback and connect for more soul lifts on Facebook: Tiffany Kaye Chartier, Instagram:@tiffanysgly, and Twitter: @tiffanychartier.