by Mary Walker
Anyone who has ever attempted something difficult, or seemingly insurmountable knows that the only way to achieve success is to practice and focus on the task at hand. What could be more important (and for that matter sometimes challenging) than building a relationship with God? It requires dedication, practice and discipline, but the result is a beautiful faith. The first analogy that comes to my mind is the art of dancing.
One of my favorite people in the entire world is this girl I lived with after college. A phenomenal Catholic, she was reserved and a little quiet when I first met her. But the next week, when I took her line dancing with some of my girlfriends, she TORE it up on the dance floor! She was the most incredible dancer I have ever seen. She nailed every step, did so with grace in an effortless way. She made it look so easy, like she was born with this natural poise and elegance. This, to me, exhibited the very nature of what freedom is. After years of practice, watching people dance, and probably lots of lessons from great dancers, she is able to move on the dance floor in complete freedom.
Our relationship with God is similar. In the same way, we might hide our true identity as God’s children when in the secular world but once we get on to the dance floor (maybe a difficult situation or one in which it’s imperative we show God’s love for others), we flourish! In order for this to happen, however, we have to know the steps with Him in order to produce fruit in our lives. People have always told me that true freedom is the ability to do the good. But what does that mean? As I understand it, it’s developing a relationship with God through practicing, watching and listening from others. We have to learn how to dance with the ease, grace and love through life as God wants us to. Once you learn that God’s teachings are designed to bring us the joy of His love, they become a lot easier to follow.
The only obstacles often hindering a relationship with Him are temptation and sin. If you know a certain television show leads you into sinful thoughts, stop watching it and spend an hour in Adoration! If you know that certain people have the tendency to lead you into sin either limit the time you spend with them, or make sure you match every minute spent with them with a minute of prayer. Think what would happen if my friend stopped dancing, her skills would atrophy and not produce the same beauty they did before. Freedom is dancing for love of God, but we have to practice to get good at it!