Dancing with Shadows

I’m just going to say it:
I once went to a Barry Manilow concert by myself.
It was the early ’80s and we didn’t have extra money, but Scott knew I really liked Barry, so he said I should go. I had a pretty good seat–kinda close and off to the side. There I was, sitting amongst mostly middle aged women (I was still a youngish woman at that point) taking in that mellow soothing voice. It’s the kind of voice that takes you back to a moment or time in your life, getting you all nostalgic.

All of Barry’s songs are about love. Falling in love, losing love, hurting love, thrilling love, remembering love, trying to forget love. One of my favorites is: “This One’s For You.” It’s about a love lost, and yearning for that love…
This one’s for you where ever you are, to say that nothing’s been the same, since we’ve been apart. This one’s for all the love we once knew, like everything else I have this one’s for you, ohhhhh…
It reminds me of my first Irish Setter, Ski, and the deep deep love I had for him. (No, not an old boyfriend. Remember Scott and his illustration…? He’s all mine!)
Anyway, we put Ski down one weekend at the cabin and I still fall into a puddle of tears when this song comes on.

So why would I listen to it? I guess I’m dancing with a shadow. If I’m feeling sad or lonely, why not put on some music that makes me even more sad and more lonely. Why not live in the past with my perfect dog–my first love? Why not feel the angst and pain of that weekend when I held him as the breath left his body, and we carried him in a sheet to the hole we had dug and laid him in it? See, I can keep going and depress us all, because we are so good at this. Dancing with shadows, fighting with shadows, dreaming about shadows, crying about shadows. Think about it: how many times have you settled for something less than what you really want because it was easier to get? Or settled for something not good for you instead of waiting for the best thing, just because it was quicker to get?

We dance with shadows when we look to another person or thing to fulfill that which only God can fill.
We fight with shadows when we belligerently complain about all that is wrong with our lives, looking to blame, shouting it from the rooftops so everyone hears.
We dream about shadows when we daydream and fantasize about how things used to be, or or how they could be if we just had this or could do that or change this.
We do it so we’re not alone–we settle for the wrong relationship.
We compromise our standards to get the pleasure now instead of waiting.
We take the easy route of movies, fantasy, or social networks, instead of doing the work and developing the marriage we’re in, or the relationships we have.

We are clearly discontented people. We’ve been given the best plan, the best love, the best for our lives and yet… we keep looking, searching for more, for something else. We’re too impatient to wait for God to move, even though we know He has the best for us.
What shadows haunt your life?
Ask God to bring them to the light and show the false and short-lived “contentment” they bring. Ask God to free you from being so tangled in this world.

“…those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.” I Corinthians 7:31


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