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Jan 16, 2024 330 Father Peter Hung Tran, Australia
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Dance with Me

You may or may not be a good dancer, but you are still called to sway in this dance of life

It was a beautiful morning; the sun was shining brightly, and I could feel its warmth seeping into my exhausted bones. By contrast, mentally, I was in great spirits, enjoying the beautiful Perth scenery as I strolled along the foreshore at Matilda Bay.

I paused on the riverbank to allow the natural beauty to fill my senses. The melody of waves breaking on the shore, the cool breeze gently ruffling through my hair as it danced through the trees, the subtle scent of salt and bushland, the delicate mosaic of tiny white shells adorning the sand…I felt rather overwhelmed by the experience.

An image of ballroom dancing flashed through my head. In my mind’s eye, I pictured God dancing with me…

Syncing in

When you begin ballroom dancing, there is a phase where your whole attention is focused on trying to remain in sync with your partner and avoid mistakes. You are consumed with fear of stumbling over the other person’s feet or moving the wrong foot in the wrong direction. Consequently, this self-conscious effort to control your movements makes your body stiff and rigid, making it difficult for your partner to lead you in the steps of the dance. But if you loosen up, flow with the music, and let your partner be the guide, he will lead you in a beautiful, enchanting, rhythmic dance.

If you allow this to happen, you will speedily learn to dance as beautifully as your partner, feeling your feet moving gracefully across the floor as you enjoy the rhythm of the dance.

Hold My Hands

Reflecting on that image, I felt as if God was saying: “You and I are partners in this dance of life, but we cannot dance well together if you don’t allow Me to lead you. I am the expert, guiding you to excel if you follow Me, but I cannot if you insist on keeping control. On the contrary, if you surrender yourself and allow Me to lead you in this dance, I will keep you safe, and we will dance beautifully. Do not be afraid to stumble on My feet because I know how to guide you. So, entrust yourself to My embrace and join Me in this dance together. Wherever the music takes us, I will show you the way.”

As I pondered these thoughts, I felt a deep sense of gratitude to God, for always being present in my life, leading me in this dance. He knows my every thought and desire and never fails to bring them to fruition in ways I do not expect (Psalm 139).

God accompanies each of us in this dance of life, always ready to take us in His arms and guide us expertly. Some of us are beginners, still taking baby steps, while others are advanced enough to assist the rest, but none of us are so advanced that we could ever afford to step away from the lead dancer.

More Happier, Less Anxious

Even Our Lady, God’s perfect dancing partner, knows that her expertise in the dance comes from following His every move with perfect grace. From an early age, Mary accepted His loving embrace, following His lead perfectly in even the smallest things. Her ear was attentive to the rhythm of Heavenly music so that she never took a false step.

Mary was perfectly at one with God in mind and heart. Her will was so in tune with God that she could utter: “Be it done to me according to Your will” (Luke 1:38). What God wants is also what Mary wants.

If we let go of our desire to serve ourselves first and, like Mary, lose ourselves in the Lord’s embrace, our lives will be freer, happier, more meaningful, and less anxious, stressful, and depressing.

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Father Peter Hung Tran

Father Peter Hung Tran has a doctorate in Moral Theology, and is currently working at the University of Western Australia and St Thomas More College as a Catholic Chaplain.

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