Before reading this post, it may be fun to see where this thought line came from in my poem “In the Dark”. https://dancewithphilosophy.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/in-the-dark/
I spent about three hours sitting in the dark yesterday. As the curtain-puller/stage hand/dresser/prop bearer, I am back stage for an entire dance performance. That means I am also backstage for all of the rehearsals and afterwords to help clean up. Now I have seen some long rehearsals before, but yesterday I discovered that it can be much worse. On a normal day, a two or three hour rehearsal is not a big deal. Especially, when you are still putting together tech runs and lighting cues. However, when you have already danced for seven hours, having to go set up lights and wait in the dark to discover you are not very necessary is not appealing.
Whilst sitting in the aforementioned darkness, I began having doubts. They were simple. I had accidentally written on my hand with a sharpie earlier that day, but since I could not see it, I began wondering if it was there after all.
I once heard a song that said,
“It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white are turned to gray
And thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade”
-Casting Crowns, Slow Fade
Have you ever been in a situation where you were asked to give just a little? Not a huge choice, but a small one. A small doubt. I have found the same thing happens when people lie. One small lie. But you better hope and pray that you have a good memory because you have to tell another lie to cover up the first one. Then again and again until there is a web of lies entangling your life to the point where you get caught in your own strings.
It doesn’t take much to start that web. It doesn’t take a huge decision to start the fade the line between right and wrong.
Many of us kids have this insane tendency to want to push our luck. How far can we go? How close can we get to the line between right and wrong? How close can we ride the rules before we get in trouble? We do this all the time. And not just kids either.
We make choices. Every day. Those choices compound on one another. There is no such thing as a decision that had no consequence. Even when those consequences seem small we push our luck. We make a habit out of that choice. Eventually, that choice leads us to believe that even closer to the line is ok. Suddenly, we have taken so many steps towards our own moral line that we lose sight of where the line was before.
The truth is, sin compounds on itself. There is a plurality to sin.
“But each one is tempted when by his own evil desires he is lured away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brother.”
In the dark, we assume that no one will notice that little sin. That one little step. No one will see that page we visited. No one we notice that app on a forgotten device. No one will see the deleted search history on our computers.
We take little steps. A slow fade. That is exactly what the devil wants. God never said we will not be tempted. He said, “Do not be deceived.” We have the ability to say no. Even in the dark, when everything looks grey and nothing is what it seems. Perhaps it is not when we are in lights that our light shines. The best way to tell what our true character is made of is how we act and what we do when no one is watching.
Maybe that is why I like this quote so much, “Sing like no one is listening. Dance like nobody’s watching, and live like it’s heaven on earth.”-Mark Twain
Why do I like that? Because if I am dancing when no one is watching, then I know I will never regret it.
I believe some of my best work has come from sitting in the dark and refusing to fall into a doubt. Instead, those moments turn into my greatest inspirations. Not because I did something, but because God was there.
A lot of things can happen in this world. Possibly the most strenuous things are when we wake up and cannot see what we know is there. Instead, all we see is the darkness of this world, and we wonder if there really is something worth dancing for. When you sit and wait in the dark, you have to decide something.
You have to make the decision to either hold on to what you saw in the light, or believe what you see in front of you. Because one option seems practical only when you are in the dark and staring into it. The other option is something that everyone staring into the dark will believe is crazy.
I stepped out of a dance. This happened about two days ago. We had done the routine before, however, I knew that the end section my teacher had laughingly titled, “the stripper section”. When I dance it the first time I saw it, I knew something was wrong. After that class I felt physically ill. Sometimes that happens when my morals and my conscience are being tucked at by the Holy Spirit.
God would not let me off that temptation. I knew that I would face that problem again, and soon. I just did not expect it to happen only a few days later, when we would repeat the combination. When we reached the ‘stripper section’ I made a plan to simply step out of the dance. The class had about thirty students, all ages, even some moms were in there.
In a class that big, with all the other dancers at the front watching, I stepped out.
It was a small thing, but I knew that I could not let myself off even when it seemed small to everyone else. I know what I believe. I believe I am worth more than what people like about my body. I know that God made me with love and respect, and I will give myself that respect.
I hope you don’t give into the deception. Not even for something that seems small.
Be blessed today.