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Happy and glorious

News St Martin – Talking Points

Sunday 17 August 2014

Last month one of my goddaughters turned three and her parents celebrated with a party.

It was a lot of fun: pass the parcel, birthday cake, and a whole host of overexcited children high on a heady mixture of sunshine and sugar. But the image that stays with me is one of my goddaughter dancing completely unselfconsciously, alone, in the middle of the living room to her favourite song (appropriately enough Pharrell Williams’ hit, ‘Happy’). It was a moment of living entirely in the present, expressing something of her sheer delight in the world through moving her body to the music. It was a beautiful sight to witness and, quite simply, it made my day.

Since then, I have been reflecting on what Isobel taught me that day. It turns out that the lesson is deceptively straightforward: do not worry about the future, listen to the music, join in, dance! This could seem facile, were it not for the fact that the fundamental underpinning of all this is the need for trust. There is nothing facile about trust. Trusting can be difficult to do. Our capacity to trust can be easily damaged by our experiences, but it is crucial to our relationship with God.

So, inspired by a dancing three-year-old, I am left with some challenges for us all: trust God to bring about the future you hope for; trust God to be with you through the storms that will beset you; trust God that the music is always there and that you will hear it again; step out of the prisons of your own making, which prevent you from joining in; and trust that God is teaching you the steps of the dance, for your own flourishing and that of the world around you.

Caroline Essex