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“The Dance” by Garth Brooks

“The Dance” by Garth Brooks

Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared ‘neath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known that you’d ever say goodbye
And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end, the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance
Holding you, I held everything
For a moment wasn’t I the king
If I’d only known how the king would fall
Hey, who’s to say, you know I might have changed it all
And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end, the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance
If our lives are better left to chance
Oh, our lives are better left to chance
Oh, our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance
Source: Musixmatch
Dear God, I was listening to this song yesterday and thinking about the introduction Garth Brooks gives it in the official music video. The first verse obviously sets the context as being about a romantic relationship, but he explains in that he also likes to think of it as being about living our lives in general and the choices we make to try to do the right things. Sometimes it ends in pain, but the pain or even tragedy is part of the journey and story as well.
Now, I know that not everyone even has the “dance” in their lives. The really joyous good times. I know that some have known nothing but pain their entire lives. But I can claim no such thing. I have had some remarkably wonderful times. There are times I still remember from childhood that were amazing. I’ve known my wife nearly my entire adult life, and we have done remarkable things together as well. When we got married, we had no idea some of the pain that awaited us. I could enumerate the pain we’ve experienced over the last 32 years of knowing each other, but you know it all better than I do. My life, comparatively, hasn’t been tragic my any stretch of the imagination. I’ve had pain to be sure. And there are some specific aspects of my current life that are extremely painful. Frankly, I’m not sure if they will ever be resolved. I’ve done what I can to resolve them, but their future is in the hands of others. So I’ve resigned myself to love them through letting them go and accept the pain as part of that love.
But coming back to this song, there is a lot of brilliance in it. I’m glad I didn’t know 20 or 30 years ago that I’d be exactly where I am now. There is so much wisdom in you keeping me on a need-to-know basis. It’s 8:32 in the morning as I type this right now. I don’t even know what 8:33 will bring. That’s okay. That’s good. If I will just stay in the moment and not worry about the next one then I can fully enjoy the good you are bringing me, absorb the pain, and commune with you.
On this vacation, the vision I keep having is from the 23rd Psalm. This two-week break is a luxury. You are leading me to green pastures and still waters. You are restoring my soul. There will be other times when I will experience the valley of the shadow of death. There will be times when I will be before my enemies. But right now, in this moment, you are restoring my soul. Thank you.
Father, I told you several months ago that I was having dinner with some old friends, and as we shared our lives with each other I thought of the metaphor of each of us having a representational bucket that contained the circumstances of our lives. All of the good and all of the bad. I came to the conclusion at that dinner that if I had the option to put my bucket in the middle of the table along with theirs and then we were each able to choose someone else’s bucket, I would, without a doubt, take my own. Everyone there would probably do the same. Why? As I sit here this morning, I think it is because, regardless of the pain in that bucket, it also contains all of those good and precious memories and moments of which I could not bear to let go. I have more than I deserve. I am grateful for the good and the bad. I embrace the life you’ve given me. Help me to, even in the hard times, worship you as the God who really loves me and can use my life in whatever way helps your kingdom to come to earth and your will to be done.
In Jesus’s name I pray,
Amen
 

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