Saturday, August 8, 2009

Let Him Lead

One of the things I had to re-learn upon coming back to my faith was that Christ, God who became man, wanted a relationship with me. Perhaps it wasn't even something to re-learn, but learn for the first time. To be honest I don't ever remember the good Sisters of St. Joseph talking about this during my years of Catholic school.
I have to say, given the way the relationships in my life were going or had gone, especially my failed marriage, another relationship even with Jesus Himself, scared me a bit. I mean really~didn't He know my track record! But that didn't stop Him; He pursued me quite relentlessly and patiently until that amazing day I finally told Him, "OK, let's give this relationship thing a try."
However I still had and have a lot to learn. Only this time I have the best Teacher anyone could ask for. Now I know there are some Christians, both Catholic and non-Catholic, who see their relationship a little too "Jesus and me~he's my buddy." Make no mistake~ I am not of that mindset! I know who Jesus is and I want Him only on His terms. That hopefully being clear, I'll continue...
Most people who know me know that for the most part I am a quiet and somewhat reserved person. I prefer to remain behind the scenes, coming out in front only when absolutely necessary. This is why I find it a bit ironic that I often feel the need to take the lead in my relationship with God. Don't get me wrong, I know in my head and even in my heart that He is in control, but sometimes, albeit quite unconsciously, I find myself saying, "I know You know better, but let's try it my way this time." And without fail, every time I do this I trip, stumble and eventually fall flat on my face.
It is a lot like dancing. A friend recommended a book the other day that uses this exact analogy in describing our relationship with Christ. The book is called The Divine Embrace and is written by Ken Gire. Now just a side note~as a Catholic returning to her faith from a long and sordid leave of absence, I am very careful about who and what I read. When it comes to authors outside the Catholic circle I try to be even more careful. That being said, I am reading this book through the lens of my Catholic faith and its teachings. I am only about 50 pages into the book, but it is quite powerful. What I am being reminded of with this analogy of the dance is that I need to let Christ lead. I need to let Him lead in this dance of my life and in my relationship with Him. After all, this dance is probably the most intricate and complicated one I will ever enter into. Jesus is the Lord of the Dance. Mr. Gire uses this title as others have as well. That being the case, I need to remember to let Him lead.
I think another reason I find this analogy so powerful is because of the times I have danced with my own Dad. Any occasion I have had to dance with him, especially when I was younger, I without realizing it would try and take the lead. It became a running half~joke. Anytime we would have the opportunity to dance, before stepping out onto the floor, he'd look at me with a grin and I'd say, "I know~let you lead." I found that when I made a conscious effort to do this I stepped on his toes a lot less often and the dance went rather smoothly. As I have gotten older, I can now do this with less effort and conscious thinking; it comes a little more naturally.
I think it is similar in my relationship with Christ. The longer the relationship goes on, I still find myself at times trying to take the lead, stepping on His toes, but now I usually catch myself. I tell Him I am sorry and putting my unsure hand in His strong, nail~scarred hand, I give Him back control of this amazing dance. I pray that as my relationship with Him continues, letting Him have the lead in everything will come a little more naturally.

Final Note: This post is in no way an endorsement of Mr. Gire's books or ministry. I so far find nothing that goes against Catholic teaching in the one or two books I've read by him. If anyone knows anything to the contrary, please kindly let me know in the combox.

1 comment:

Anne said...

Karinann, this is a lovely post. I love the image of a dance with Christ and the struggle you go through about who is actually leading. In my life, I have found that all the times I fought with Christ and tried to lead, were the most stressful and difficult of all, but when I would relax in His outstretched arms and put my trust in Him, things would go much smoother.

I also want to say that I love your Sunday post. I have never heard that prayer of St. Francis and I was most struck by the line about sublime humility. Thanks for those Sunday prayers, it's a wonderful thing that you are doing!

Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.