Seemed Like a Good Idea At the Time

The last time I danced in Mexico I wound up in the hospital. I certainly didn’t plan it that way. Let’s just say I got caught up in the moment.

Over Christmas break during my senior year at Indiana University, several of us went to serve at a children’s home in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. We painted, played with kids and did whatever we could to help out while we were there.

One night, the missionaries who hosted us threw a huge neighborhood birthday party for one of the kids in the home. Between the piñata and the loud music, it quickly escalated into a fiesta of enormous proportions.

And then people started to dance. It was a weird “Saturday Night Fever” kind of moment, where the crowd would part, leaving an open space in the middle of the dance floor for someone to show off their moves.

I’m not a dancer by trade, nor by genetics apparently, but I do like to have fun, and what happens in Mexico stays in Mexico, right? So, before I knew it, I found myself in the middle of the dance floor with all eyes on me. No rhythm. No coordination. No problem. What I lacked in talent I would compensate for with enthusiasm.

I’ll spare you the awkward details of how I attempted to dazzle the crowd with my unique brand of hip-hop acrobatics, but, suffice it to say, I wasn’t exactly a Backstreet Boy. I had to do something drastic, something spectacular. It was time to show them what I was made of.

It was time to unleash my signature move, “the flip.” It did not go according to plan. With one clumsy stumble, “the flip” turned into “the slip” and my dreams of dancing with the stars crashed to the pavement with a sickening snap.

Instead of busting a move, I broke a collar bone. What can I say? It seemed like a good idea at the time.

In retrospect, it sounds ridiculous, but how many times have we all gone down the road of making a foolish choice that made perfect sense in the moment?

I’ve met smart, well-educated people who’ve made some of the dumbest choices you could imagine, choices that led to nothing but regret. The dad who walks out on his family. The cashier who gets caught stealing. The driver who’s had one drink too many. All of which, I’m sure, seemed like a good idea at the time.

The Bible says there’s a way that seems right to a man but, in the end, it leads to death. The older I get, the more I realize I need someone much bigger than me, much wiser than me, to help me make sound decisions or I’ll end up making mistakes far more painful than a broken collar bone. Mistakes that could cost me relationally, financially and spiritually. Thank God for God. It’s amazing that even for someone as foolish as me, life-giving wisdom is only a prayer away. Now, that really makes me want to dance.

Or, on second thought, maybe not.

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