Ballet dancers train hard to be able to spin...They use a technique called spotting, focusing on a spot as they spin.... It isn't useful for a ballet dancer to feel dizzy or off balance. Their brains adapt over years of training to suppress that input. — BBC News Health, "Ballet Dancers' Brains 'Adapt to Spins'" (Sept. 27, 2013)
There are enough rules and restrictions in the Old Testament law to make your head spin—613, to be exact. Most of us don’t have a clue what those 613 rules are, but we know the summary. We’ve got The Ten—the Ten Commandments.
Still, the 10 are nothing without the other 603. If you follow the law, you must follow it to the letter. So what, exactly, are we supposed to focus on? Can we narrow these commands down to one? A young lawyer—a Jewish student of the law—asked Jesus this very question.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40)
What’s the greatest commandment? Can you reduce the hundreds to just one thing? Yeah, you really can. Forget the 613 rules in the Old Testament. Forget the expectations and obligations the world and the Church place on you. You can focus, just focus on the greatest command that everything else hangs on: Love.
So if the Christian life is a dance—and I believe it is—then all good dancers know that before they can turn, they must determine their point of spotting. Before we can effectively show love to others, before we can honor relationships and commitments, before we can effectively stand firm in the spin cycle of life—we must determine that Jesus is our point of focus.
Can you feel the simplicity, the purity, and the power of that? Suddenly, the greatest command no longer feels like a command. It’s something infinitely more powerful and profound than that. It is an overflow of the Love that dwells in us.
Lord of the Dance, I won’t take my eyes off You. Lead me in this dance. As my eyes are fixed upon You, whether I turn to the right or the left, let my hands open in love and generosity to others. I place a mustard seed of faith in You today. I ask that You would express that faith through me with love today. Show me who, show me how. Amen.
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