1. law —
Staying on the topic.
2. fashion —
3. military —
Taking the lead role.
4. dance —
Staying on your toes.
Let’s turn to dance.
I took ballet as a preteen. After seeing my friend in recital, I got my mom to enroll me in lessons, and soon, I was dancing on Broadway
— Broadway Avenue, our city’s version of Main Street, two afternoons a week at a storefront school.
My mishmosh of memories from class include the gleam of tap shoes, doing the hustle (this was the ’70s), and the unyielding height of the barre.
Decades later, I still remember the lessons on pirouettes.
Before the spinning starts, you have to choose a focus, a focus spot where you want to go. And with every turn, you have to refocus. Otherwise, the effort takes you far off course, leaving you disoriented, confused … sometimes even hurting and ill. But with discipline to refocus at every turn, there’s guidance and grace.
Staying on your toes, as defined by a believer in Jesus Christ, is not about mental agility or physical prowess. It means realizing that your statement of faith is a daily necessity, before leaving the bed. Worth interrupting your own agenda setting, grocery-list making, physical assessment and dream analysis — to seek to abide in God first. Thinking about who God is and why you worship Him.
Even before we turn our wide-ranging thoughts into requests before God, we need to turn from all that’s on our mind, so we can speak directly to Him … about Him.
And long after we’ve sat up, stood and shuffled from the bed, we need to be ready to interrupt all those things again — not only to seek God’s agenda at every turn, but to abide with Him more and more often during the day.
We need that, and God delights in it. Reason enough.
Ongoing spiritual warfare provides even further reason. Before we engage in battle, we need to choose that same focus, and then constantly refocus. Otherwise, our thoughts, words and actions become confused and take us far off course, stranding us in our pain and hurting others.
Turn, turn, turn. To prayer. To praise. To petition. To devotion.
To stay on point as God defines it, turn often to God’s Word — 2 Chronicles 20:15 b, Ephesians 6:10-18 — for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
To stay on point, keep your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Find guidance in grace. God makes it available to you daily, and it was never meant to be hoarded or rationed out.
To live on point is to live extended to the utmost — the utmost patience (1 Timothy 1:16; 2 Timothy 4:2); the utmost perseverance (2 Timothy 2:15, Philippians 1:20) and the utmost generosity (2 Corinthians 8:3-15) — all with a willingness to go beyond your personal resources.
The history of dancing en pointe traces a movement to a dance style that disregarded the body’s natural alignment; it was a way of dancing that followed the fashion of its time. Spiritually speaking, living on point follows an everlasting standard, based on God’s nature instead of the stances that come naturally to us.
Our natures, when placed in God’s hands, are redefined and then refined daily. He provides us with extensive practice to develop a strength that reaches beyond our own ability.
God has taken on our perfection as a lifetime project.
To stay on point, turn and take God’s extended hand.