Wednesday, April 2, 2008

late nights with God

Fredrick Nietzsche once wrote: “Without music, life would be a mistake.... I would only believe in a God who knew how to dance.” This is a sad statement written by the same guy who said "God is dead." I can't help but think Nietzsche wasn't paying attention.

When examining the heart of God, you don't have to go much farther than King David (1 Samuel, 2 Samuel). The guy has more written about him than just about anybody in the Old Testament. Dave was called "a man after God's own heart." He grew up the youngest of a bunch of boys, relegated to tending sheep, spending long weeks alone under the stars with only a harp to keep him company (and the sheep- but they aren't much for conversation). You have to believe that a kid like that spent some time talking to God and hearing God talk back in the big dark silence. Little Dave wasn't afraid of anything because he knew God was bigger. Sure, he played the harp. He sang. He danced. He wrote music. He loved women (and they loved him). But he also killed lions and giants and bears (oh my). He was a fierce warrior who, at a very young age, was put in charge of the entire army of Israel. Oh yeah, and he was anointed King when he was still a child but didn't get to realize the dream until many years later after betrayal, violence, and death should have caught up with him. David was inspired, broken, reignited, and molded until his heart looked a lot like God's.

Did Nietzsche understand the passion, the tenderness and the beauty of God's heart? I don't know, but David did. Did Nietzsche know that God created him to worship? To sing and dance unabashed under the stars, a tender tango between creator and clay? I don't know. I just hope he has a chance to meet David before he has to stand before the God who slays giants.

How do we teach our daughter to hear the drum beat of God's heart that calls her to the great adventure for her life? How will she know she can stand before giants with the strength of her God beside her? We have to teach her to kneel in the silence, so she can hear God, then we have to teach her to dance.

Psalm 18:28-36

*written by a man who knew God and wasn't scared to dance

You light my lamp; the Lord my God illumines my darkness. For by You I can run upon a troop; and by my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is blameless; the word of the Lord is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God, the God who girds me with strength and makes my way blameless? He makes my feet like hinds' feet, And sets me upon my high places. He trains my hands for battle, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, and Your right hand upholds me; Your gentleness makes me great. You enlarge my steps under me, And my feet have not slipped.