I Stand Amazed: Some thoughts on dancing and the solar eclipse

I watched “So You Think You Can Dance” for the first time yesterday. I had never seen a clip of the show before then. Seriously. 

I know you are wondering where I am going with this, but please just bear with me.

For those unfamiliar with “So You Think You Can Dance”, part of the show consists of young men and women performing their best moves before “All-Stars”, well-regarded dancers from previous seasons. After each performance, these professionals debrief what they saw.

I sat there with my jaw to the floor for a large portion of this episode. I mean, these guys and gals were doing things with their arms and legs that I can’t even wrap my head around.

And do you know what the best part was? These professional dancers were often as astounded as I was. I am, admittedly, just a layperson when it comes to dancing. Despite knowing one or two moves (the pizza dance comes to mind), I would consider myself a mere commoner. So, it made me feel good to see that some of these “All-Stars” spent the vast majority of these routines on the literal edge of their seat. I kind of casually commented, “It is nice to know that even professionals can be impressed.”

Then, I took a moment to reflect on something God has recently been teaching me: I am not mesmerized nearly enough.

It is pretty crazy that a professional dancer can watch one of these competitors and think “Wow! How did they do that?!” I think I rarely have that thought. 

I’ve come to recognize, and really dislike, my propensity toward complacency and apathy. Truthfully, few things impress me.

To further support this lack of excitement I bring you my experience with the solar eclipse, arguably the most objectively exciting thing to happen in recent memory.

I realized how nonchalant I am toward life when everyone else was freaking out about Monday’s solar eclipse. Literally. Freaking. Out. People were flying and driving and running and jumping and swimming toward the best viewpoints, even if that meant pausing life to take a trip up to Oregon. Traffic in some areas was absolutely out of control. I got at least ten memos about the eclipse at work. Eclipse viewing glasses were flying off the shelves of local 7-11s. I don’t think I have to provide anymore examples as I am sure you all saw how crazy this made some people. 

And I sat in a chair and shrugged my shoulders and wondered why people cared so much about the moon passing in front of the sun for two minutes.

That is, I shrugged my shoulders and wondered why until I was struck by how absolutely sedated my life has become.

Few things phase me because I am over-stimulated and under-impressed. I am too egotistical and preoccupied. I think too much about insignificant distractions and not enough about the magnificent reality we live in.

The moon passing in front of the sun is a huge deal, even if you could not care less about the moon or the sun. The crescent shaped shadows the leaves make on the concrete as the moon passes in front of the sun is a huge deal, even if you could not care less about the moon or the sun or the concrete or the leaves.

And this is because we live in a world teeming with life and change and growth. And isn’t that amazing? Isn’t it amazing that we can see snow-capped mountains and experience cool spring breezes? Isn’t it amazing that clouds form and rains fall and waves lap against the sands? Isn’t it amazing that on some random Monday morning in August the moon would pass in front of the sun and I could get 36 high school kids to put dorky glasses on so we could all stare at it?

Please believe I stared at it. I stared at it through borrowed 7-11 glasses six different times. I used some kid’s pinhole paper to project miniature eclipses on the cement. I told every class my new moon joke. I took full advantage of the time I had to watch the eclipse because I promised my heart I would be kind to the still small voice that asks me to pause. I promised my heart I would let it feel, and I prayed Monday morning for the freedom to experience life more fully. 

Please believe I took full advantage of it when the time came.

I am hoping to become more okay with looking foolish. (Hey, I would be in good company!) I am hoping to become more okay with clapping my hands with joy when I think about the great, and simple, things God has gifted us with. Things like bunnies and ice cream. Things like Dolly Parton, Polaroids, Karaoke, and soup. Things like dance moves and the sun going behind the moon.

I am hoping to become more okay with letting myself stand amazed. Will you join me? 

 

Comment below with some of the things that amaze you about our world and our God.

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4 thoughts on “I Stand Amazed: Some thoughts on dancing and the solar eclipse

  1. Ally, YOU, amaze me. It was a joy to read this. I could hear your voice and personality behind it. Thanks for the reminder to slow down. I needed that reminder especially for Anna and Luna 🌙
    Your BFF misses you! Haha

    Like

  2. Ally, this was BEAUTIFUL. I cant wait to read it to my kids. So true of all of us living in an over-stimulated under-impressed world! And we can all become numb to beauty and miracles! A story comes to mind: this Christmas I thought I was the Bomb Mom by gifting my kids with an unused original tape cassette recorder- THE thing in my life as a 1980s preteen. I imagined my phoneless children recording themselves, hiding it and recording family conversations, making tapes for friends. Instead, they gave one look at it, another weird look at me, and never took it out of the box. SO unimpressed. It reminded me what it takes these days to impress young minds.
    God gifts us every day! But it has all become lackluster.
    So here are some things that I’ll allow myself to be more impressed by and clap about! Thanks for allowing me to remember God’s gifts:
    Plumeria and magnolias, vintage tablecloths and Fiestaware, black licorice, crisp air w/ a hint of fireplace smoke, old music, dancing, a swim in the ocean, and Jesus. May I never stop clapping for Jesus!

    Like

    1. Jill, thank you for that story. It’s so sad and so common in our society! And I love those little and big things you’re thanking God for.

      Like

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