She stood in the middle of the stage, head down, staring at the pom-pom that had landed by her nimble toes when her baton had slipped from her hand. The pom-pom was not the fluffy, woollen type, but the glitzy, tinsel type that cheerleaders use. It lay limp on the floor, although on many occasions it had dazzled in her hands during numerous rehearsals.
Two small feet stood rooted to the spot while others rose into the air landing in a hop. Two arms that wanted to fly upwards in a gallant wave, flopped redundantly as the arms of nineteen other infants flew high, sending shiny strips of tinsel towards the spotlights above. Two eyes glistened with moisture as tears were fought back – embarrassment, fear and confusion all mixed into one as it now seemed too late to catch up with the rest.
She remained motionless as the music played and excited children danced around her. A moment before, she had been happy to be part of a show that demonstrated her dance skills and at the tender age of four, she had been doing remarkably well to the remember all the moves.
With her chin now resting on her chest, the end of the second baton made its way into her mouth as she nervously chewed it, wondering what to do next.
Having been given strict instructions not to pick up her baton if it falls, using her peripheral vision, the cute little girl stood anxiously observing all the others on stage, who were now holding tightly onto their own batons so as not to incur the same fate.
She had been taught well, as her kind and patient instructor, Helen, was a graduate from the Royal Academy of Dance. Helen was excellent at teaching Performing Arts and children of all ages had a good knowledge of ballet, tap, street dance and acrobatics.
Some of us dropped our pom-poms years ago and we are still staring down at them while others dance around us.
When the performance finished, the audience clapped vigourously. The little girl assumed the applause was not for her. Yet if she had asked anyone in the room, they would have told her that their cheers were for her as much as the ones who completed the sequence.
God does the same.
He is cheering you on and applauding you for every little effort you make. It doesn’t matter that others are sprinting past you while you are barely crawling. He is proud of your attempts to move in the right direction no matter how small. He sees the work you put in behind the scenes, so when life knocks your baton from your hand, he already knows about your endeavours – that your trouble is just one of those unfortunate things.
The young child was doing as she was told – not to pick up her baton if it drops. But she didn’t understand she was to continue dancing. God wants to help us carry on despite the fact that:
The abuser may never apologise.
The business may never revive.
The distant parent may never embrace.
The wayward spouse may never return.
The medication may never work.
The dream may never be fulfilled.
The condition may never improve.
The lost family may never be found.
The bullies may never show remorse.
The deceased will never breathe again.
Your Heavenly Father has never taken his eyes off you. He is right here waiting to strengthen you each step of the way and show you what you can do when you allow him to direct your steps. He is waiting to jump up onto your stage, pick up your baton, dust it off and put it back into your hands – this time with his fingerprints all over it. Then he will gladly move with you, helping you to learn to trust him and clapping loudly as you take the next step in the dance classes of life.