Thursday, April 05, 2007

Dancing and lessons for life

I haven't posted much about highland dance competitions. Mainly I stick to the cultural and historical lessons they learn at games and Burns dinners, but lately I've been struck by the lessons they are learning about things such as good sportsmanship, perseverance, humility and trust.

All three have been practicing regularly and for the most part working hard at it. Their teacher gave them several things they are to do 50 times a day. Little things that will over time build in them strength and grace and endurance. It has paid off. Each has been doing better and better at competitions. And, this last week, Erin had her best competition, all firsts, the trophy and "most promising dancer" trophy. The gilding of this lily was the fact that her grandfather and the rest of the NC family was able to be there for it. Erin has a tendency to become discouraged, especially in patterns of bad behavior (which we refer to as sin :) ) that she struggles to overcome. She had been successful in doing a little thing many times a day to train her body, perhaps, I suggested there could be little things that you could do everyday that would help train your heart. Find a few kind things that you do for your siblings everyday as an exercise to help your love for them grow. Perseverance in the physical body and the spiritual heart!

She is also worried about becoming proud because she was doing so well, which led to a nice discussion on focusing on being thankful. Be thankful that you have a healthy strong body, be thankful that you have a great teacher, be thankful that God has given you the grace to practice (because she knows that wouldn't happen in her own strength). Thankfulness recognizes that you didn't get here all by yourself - it would be hard to be thankful and haughty at the same time. She agreed - and she was off.

There's more to say, but I just wanted to share something that would encourage everyone to look beyond the surface into the deeper things. They are learning something all the time and I'm sure we all agree, the less obvious lessons are some of the most important.



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