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Monday, April 29, 2013

Discovering the joy of “quick, slow, slow!”

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Talk to men, at least the American kind, and they’ll say dancing is about as relaxing as a visit to the proctologist. I must not be like most men, I enjoy dancing, if we’re talking about standing apart from the woman and just shaking everything I have. That’s NOT how ballroom dancing works though. The waltz requires both you and the woman to hold each other close and move together as one. Synchronized! This requires timing, tempo, and coordination. Fred Astaire makes it look easy, but try it, I would rather see the proctologist.
It all happened because of a vacation we planned with several friends. We were going to take our wives on a seven-day Caribbean cruise and romance the socks off them. (We’d also have some major “guy time” scuba diving to boot.)
My wife, Bonnie, raised the question of formal night on the ship and the need to know how to dance formally. As for me, I just wanted to shake my booty. She quickly informed me there would be no booty shaking in her presence. That could mean only one thing. Dance lessons!
To keep my friends from laughing at me taking dance lessons, I told their wives what we were doing. They too then demanded the same of their husbands. The guys couldn’t believe I had stabbed them in the back, but at least they wouldn’t be standing on the side lines laughing and heckling with each other at my expense. “All for one and one for all,” Right guys?
At our first class, as the bubbly teacher announced that we were all going to have so much fun, the wives were grinning ear to ear with anticipation of soft lights, warm glances, subtle gestures and romance. In other words, they were set up for the big letdown.
The men all looked as if they had just buried their favorite hunting dog. The entire night, I didn’t look into any friend’s face without hateful, (We’re going to kill you later) stares. (These guys have no sense of humor.)
We began by dancing apart from our wives. Safety reasons I’m sure! Then we slowly moved toward them until we were dancing arm and arm.
The instructor continued to bark out directions and we continued to do our best to follow. The waltz in its simplest terms is a quick step to the side, followed by two long steps either forward or backward. Add a bunch of spins and a large dance floor and you are waltzing.

 The instructor kept barking, “Quick step, slow, slow! Quick step, slow, slow!” I was doing my part to lead. Bonnie was doing her part to follow and support me. The more we practiced, the more we improved. And then it happened. We were waltzing! We were laughing. We were having a ball. Not everyone in the group was doing as well. One wife commented about my friend, “Scott is just slow, slow, slow!” I laughed, until I saw Scott’s eyes. (Why the hate, dude?)
For my wife, dancing is bonding. Quick, slow, slow, was working not only to move us around the dance hall, but also closer together.
The Bible has its own quick, slow, slow, steps that are imperative to any healthy relationship. “But let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.” (James 1:19)
During our upcoming sermon series, we’re going to look at other biblical ideas for a healthier and more enjoyable marriage. God hoped we’d be more than just roommates. He dreamed we’d become soulmates.


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