There’s a practice in ballet and other kinds of dance called “spotting”. During spins, it is used to prevent dizziness and when standing on toes, it is used to keep steady balance. Basically, the dancer chooses a spot on the wall she is facing, or the wall she is heading toward and keeps her eyes fixed on that spot. On stage during my ballet days, it was usually the Exit sign! The idea is for the dancer to keep her eyes on this spot until the last second before a spin and snap her head around back to that spot again after the spin. In this video, you will see how the dancer’s head is the last thing to leave before a spin and the first thing to arrive back to her spot again after the spin. When balancing on toes, it is essential to focus fully and sharply on one spot or the dancer will lose her balance.
I was a slow learner in ballet, but I learned this practice very quickly out of necessity. It’s difficult to describe the dizziness that results from not spotting while spinning, or the lack of balance that occurs without focus. If I took my eyes off of my spot for just a second, I would start to wobble and sometimes even fall. And wherever I was looking during a spin was where I was headed. If I was looking at the floor, I was headed for a fall. If I was looking at the wrong spot, I would veer off course into the path of the other dancers, causing them to stumble. But if my eyes were straight ahead, I could not go wrong.
Yep, that’s me in the picture. And I guarantee that I am focusing hard on something in order to remain still and balanced or this picture would have had a much different story to tell.
Sometimes the world feels like it’s spinning out of control and I’m barely hanging on by my tip toes. The only way to keep from falling is to focus hard on my Source, my Creator, my Anchor. When I try to hang on myself, I take my eyes off of Him and careen out of control. My heart gets bruised and battered from the falls. I’ve lost my Anchor, my God, in the spin. And once I’m off balance, it’s very difficult to get back on. Fixing my eyes on God keeps me steady. I need my Source to be more important to me than anything else or I am going to fall. I am going to veer off course and potentially take others with me on this dance of life.
I am reminded of A. W. Tozer who said in his book, The Pursuit of God, “Make heaven more real to me than any earthly thing has ever been.” Amen! How I long for that to be true! I think one of the purposes of this life is to work for that to be true. I want God to be more real to me than anything on this earth because this earth is only temporary. If I keep my eyes on my Source, my God, He is where I am headed. But if I take my eyes off of him for just a second, earth becomes more important than him and I am falling. I am careening off course and finding it even more difficult to get back on.
I was sitting in my favorite spot awhile ago, overlooking an absolutely breathtaking view. The leaves were bright and falling softly all around me. The sun was glistening through the trees as they swayed in the breeze. I watched as butterflies played next to me on the flowers. I was in awe and at peace. Suddenly, I was distracted by the blisters on my hands. It’s hard not to be distracted when they start popping out everywhere and itch terribly during a flare. Then I started thinking about the rest of my illness and wondering if I will ever be well. Pretty soon I was so inwardly focused that I was ignoring the beauty all around me. And I do this so often! It’s difficult for me to focus on God when the physical is just so real and painful! Right about that time, God smacked me in the head with an acorn! He snapped me out of my downward/inward spiral and reminded me to keep looking up at him so that I won’t fall into the darkness. I thank God for steadying me with his love. I thank him for being so real in my life! Even if he has to smack me around a bit to get me to focus, I’m OK with that! I am so thankful for the experiences I have that make him more real to me than anything on earth, and I look forward to the time when he is ALWAYS more real to me than anything else.
This life gets in the way. I allow it to get in the way. I allow it to disturb my focus and throw me off balance. The physical and emotional pain take my breath away when that astonishment should be reserved only for God. He is my Source and my Anchor who keeps me balanced. There is nothing more beautiful and wonderful on which I could fix my eyes. We are so blessed to have the most beautiful ‘Spot’ on which to focus!
And there are times when it is OK to fall because God is our dance partner. Falling is an act of trust, knowing that we will be caught by the steadiest of hands. When we are in God, we fall into his arms. He is our Anchor and our Safe Place. We can stop focusing on the things of this world that only throw us off balance, and we can fall into the loving arms of God. Stop clinging to it all, and fall.
Fall Peace, My child, I am here. Calm, My child. I hold it all. Be still, My child and do not fear. Rest, My child. I won't let you fall. Except into my loving arms Just fall into my saving arms My arms are there to catch you Don't be afraid to let go And I'll keep you soaring higher Stop clinging to it all, and fall. Strength, My child for my glory. Be brave, My child. I walk with you. Sing, My child. I gave you my story. Trust, My child. There's nowhere to run to. I know right now you don't understand But I've got you held in my loving hands And I'm always working my perfect plan So I'm waiting for you now to run... I am blessed that God gave me a new song called Fall. You can listen to it here.
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