Dancing with Joy

Bull riding

Image by Claremont Colleges Digital Library via Flickr

Ben Jones is a bull rider.  He has had some difficulties lately, including a lot of concussions, but this weekend was a good weekend for him.  He rode well.  He completed rides.  He danced.  If you never seen him dance, then you have never seen him complete a ride.  Each time he rides and stays on for 8 seconds, he does a dance.  (8 seconds is how long a rider must stay on the bull to have a successful ride.)  The dance is not graceful.  This is a high intensity dance of joy.  Ben loves riding bulls.  It is his driving passion.  Because he loves it so much, he is overjoyed when he has a great ride.  So, he dances.


The vast majority of people love to watch him dance.  They want Ben to ride well so that they can see the dance.  His dance is a display of joy.  He is living out his passion and joyfully celebrating.  It is something that we want to experience, even if vicariously.  The joy of the moment comes through on television, and I imagine it is even more wonderful in person.  I am joyful with and for Ben when he rides well.  His passion and joy are obvious.


What about you?  Are you living out your passion?  Do you know joy?  I hope that you have passion, a driving desire, to be or do something.  I hope that you are able to live out that passion.  I hope you have joy.  Many of us become so constrained that we do not share our joy and our passion.  We hide what we are passionate about.  We don’t talk about it, whatever it might be.  We don’t shout from the rooftops our love for God, spouse, or bull riding.  Instead we hide our passions.  We think it is best just to keep to ourselves.  We hide not only our passion, but we hide our joy.  In short, we don’t dance.


When we don’t dance, then we do not allow others to share in our passion and joy.  We do not allow people to share in our lives.  We do not give people another opportunity to experience joy.  We hinder their joy.  We encourage their inhibitions.  We discourage celebrations.  The people around us may have very little in their lives that bring them joy.  They may not even have a passion for anything.  Our vicarious joy and excitement may be the only joy in their lives.  Why should we keep that joy to ourselves?


The world needs more dancing, more joy, and more passion.  We are the way that is going to happen.  Shout out your joy.  Declare your passions.  Dance with reckless abandon.  Allow others to experience joy and passion through you.


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