The Quandary of an Uncooperative Body

by Katie Ann



"As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man." Proverbs 27:19 

After watching So You Think You Can Dance I usually want to get up right then and there and have a dance class.  I want to learn the routines I loved watching and I want to be able to do every leap, every turn, every jump just like them.  But then reality hits me - I can't.
The word "can't" is every dance instructor's "no no" word.  It is forbidden in the studio.  You utter that one syllable and the instructor either gives you an evil scowl and makes you do it till you can or will nicely add "yet" to the end of that sentence.  Either way they are expecting that you will be able to do it eventually.  But the huge thing I have learned through dance is that not everything is possible with more work.  Granted some things are with more practice.  If I had given up on my splits I would have never been able to get all the way down, which I did for the first time this last year through copious amounts of stretching.  But converting the extension of my split into my developpe (an unfolding of the leg in the air) is literally impossible for me.  God did not give me the flexibility and the hip structure for that move.  The only way I get all the way down into my splits is the shear weight of my body and the help of gravity.  With the developpe you don't have gravity to help, in fact you're fighting against it.  So when I see fantastic extension in other dancers and I come to the reality that I don't have it and I never will, my first thought is, "God messed up in creating me."
And tonight it hit me, wow I am stupid!  First, to be doubting God's creation which is "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14) I must be an idiot!  The God who created heaven and earth, who made everything good and I think that because I don't have an ability He got it wrong?  Secondly, covet much?  I look at these dancers and instead of praising God for the beauty that they display in that movement, I covet their ability.  I think that because I have this passion for dance and He didn't give me something that is used in that passion that the equation doesn't match up.  But i forget this ability it's not necessary.
So what is necessary to dance?  Well, two legs? - check.  Being able to move them? - check.  Two arms? - check.  Moving arms? - check...... a functioning body? - check.  Passion? - check.  Commitment? - check.  Perseverance? - check.  A heart that longs to show beauty? - check.  I'd say God gave me all that is necessary to dance.  And yet because I can't pull my leg up to my ear I doubt that and in the end doubt Him.  It's amazing how sin can take a simple desire and turn it into such ugliness.
And it's amazing how much I do this in my life.  If it's not dance, its my height, or my body proportions, or anything else that I don't like about myself.  But I've come to realize that if I don't love myself the way God made me, than I am doubting Him and to me that kind of doubt is unacceptable.  However, I don't have some easy way to fix this.  It's not like I write it here and the problem magically disappears.  No I need to commit more time and energy into prayer and the memorization of God's word so that when I see a dancer have beautiful extension I can praise God for the gifts He has given them.  So that when I see my sister, the stick that she is, all cute in her skinny jeans I may have the grace to thank God for her beauty.  So that when I see a couple (super short girl with a really tall guy) I might thank God that He gives us others so that we might see a glimpse of His love for us.

"May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." Psalms 19:14