Hopefully, you do not get the wrong impression. Terry and I are not dancers. We do not go to dances. Actually, I do not think we have danced since our days at college. That has been nearly 45 years ago. But, she did make the romantic request, “While we are on the ship during the cruise, I want you to dance a dance with me.” I said (with fear and trembling), “Okay.”
We sailed on the Emerald Princess, and, like the comparable liners, there was a lot of things for us cruisers to do while the ship was at sea. The primary enjoyment, of course, was the eating, which you could do all day if you had the capacity for it. Our two families emphasized the “fine dining” offerings. Lobster was offered, and I availed myself nightly of it.
I was impressed with the number of stores on board with a wide variety of items to purchase. Jewelry sales were particularly pushed. So were the sales of paintings. I sat in on a couple of the painting auctions just to watch the process. People bid high figures for some of them.
The family-oriented shows were good. There were lumberjack demonstrations, and comedy routines. There was a talent-singing contest. Our son, Ron, participated, and was one of the finalists.
Then, there were the music venues. Different styles of music were played by soloists and groups. Terry and I enjoyed one of the pianists. There was a dance floor right in front. Several couples danced.
But, when a certain romantic tune was played, I started to sweat, and my heart just about beat out of my chest. It was a song I could dance to with Terry. But, I chickened out. I can’t dance! I know that God just did not put any rhythm in my feet! So, I just sat there like a typical backward oaf from West Virginia.
To make matters worse, people would see. It would be a public demonstration. Why did I not do the dance in the kitchen at the house in a private setting? Would that have not fulfilled my obligation?
I felt guilty that I was not fulfilling my commitment to dance with Terry, and I certainly felt intimidated by my lack of guts. We listened to another song by the pianist. The following song he gave a brief verbal introduction in touching fashion. It stirred fortitude inside me, and I knew what I needed to do.
When he started playing, I stood up, and I reached across the table, taking Terry by the hand and leading her out of her seat. The moment was electric. Tears immediately welled up in her eyes. She was in love with me, and I was in love with her. We walked slowly out onto the dance floor, and I danced with her. I was not self-conscious, because I was with her. The two of us were doing something very special. Nothing else mattered.
Since then, that moment has caused me to think of the Christian’s relationship with God. In actuality, it should not be relegated just to private practice. Oh, most certainly, the pressure is applied by governmental and social elitists that PDoCs (Public Displays of Christianity) should be kept unseen. We are told that religion should be kept in the church house or in your house.
There is absolutely nothing wrong and everything right to humbly and reverently indicate you have a relationship with the God of Israel, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that you have a love for Him. It is all right to publicly ask the Lord’s blessings on the food you are about to eat at the restaurant.
It is all right to publicly mention the name of God. It is all right to publicly talk about what Jesus Christ did on the Cross and His Resurrection. It is all right to publicly invite people to attend church with you, and about the things you are doing at church.
I know that relationship with God is not a dance. It is often described in the Bible as a “walk.” But, if people have a problem that you publicly reflect walking with God, then they have the problem.
Apostle Paul sets the tone for us as he stipulated, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ…” Jesus Christ explained that we should not hide His light in us.
In the mean time, I danced well enough. I only stepped on Terry’s foot one time.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio.