One of my pastoral heroes is John Ortberg. He is rare in the fact he is both an excellent preacher and author. His book The Life You’ve Always Wanted is the #1 book I recommend to folks who want to grow in their spiritual formation.
I was recently reminded of a story Ortberg told in that book that was so good I thought I’d simply type it word for word in this blog. Enjoy!
Sometime ago I was giving a bath to our three children. I had a custom of bathing them together, more to save time than anything else…
Johnny was still in the tub, Laura was out and safely in her pajamas, and I was trying to get Mallory dried off. Mallory was out of the water, but was doing what has come to be known in our family as the Dee Dah Day dance. This consists of her running around and around in circles, singing over and over again,”Dee dah day, dee dah day.” It is a relatively simply dance expressing great joy.
When she is too happy to hold it in any longer, when words are inadequate to give voice to her euphoria, she has to dance to release her joy. So she does the Dee Dah Day.
On this particular occasion, I was irritated.
“Mallory, hurry!” I prodded. So she did — she began running in circles faster and faster and chanting “dee dah day” more rapidly. “No, Mallory, that’s not what I mean! Stop with the dee dah day stuff, and get over here so I can dry you off. Hurry!”
Then she asked a profound question: “Why?”
I had no answer.
I had nowhere to go. Nothing to do. No meetings to attend. No sermons to write. I was just so used to hurrying, so preoccupied with my own little agenda, so trapped in this rut of moving from one task to another…that here was life, here was joy, here was an invitation to do the dance right in front of me — and I was missing it.
So I got up, and Mallory and I did the Dee Dah Day dance together. She said I was pretty good at it, too, for a man my age.
So that is John Ortberg’s story. I want to challenge you to think about how his story intersects yours.
- At what moments in your day are you in a hurry…for no reason?
- Where is joy in your life, right before your eyes, but you miss it more often than you enter into it?
- What does the Dee Dah Day dance look like in your life…and will you take time today to dance?
***Please join us this Sunday at The Eastside Vineyard Church. My sermon is titled “Without a Doubt” and will look at mountain-moving prayers in the midst of doubt, using Matthew 21:18-22 as our key passage. Plus, there will be worship, communion, and an opportunity to receive 1-on-1 mountain-moving prayer. March 3. 10:30am. More info at tevchurch.org***