Flames and burning coal

Once upon a time the highs and lows came in abundance. The excitement of getting to know each other, the conversations that drag late into the night, having (or perceiving to have) so much in common, the fluttering heart and butterflies when you "accidentally" meet each other in the corridor, the ecstasy of just holding hands, and the purring contentment of simply being near the other person. On the other hand there were the tears of parting, even for a ridiculously short period of time, the uncertainty of what he really thinks, and the endless angst of waiting for messages or phone calls. The first flames, infatuations, are deceptive, you're adamant that the person is so perfect when you've only known them for a few days. How hilarious. (It's ok, I'm mocking myself too.)

Familiarity changes relationships - from sweet words to hurtful arguments, admiration to contempt. Fine, let's not be cynical, there are good changes too. The rollercoaster ride of romance turns into a valuable friendship, someone with a deep understanding of your thoughts, feelings, tone and moods.

A parallel to my relationship to God. The first time I started understanding the words of the Bible, saw depth in the layers of meaning, listened to God's words spoken and realised how true! how relevant to everyday life! how wise! - do you know, that was as refreshing, as fascinating as the start of a new relationship. Once in awhile I really saw God's words as his "love letter" to us. The first experiences of God's presence in times of turmoil, opening my eyes to God's grace when I've sinned, experiencing changes in my character that even my family were surprised to see - that left such a deep, moving impression on my spirit.

Yet now, I'm finding the enthusiasm harder to come by. Hate to say it (because it sounds disgustingly arrogant) but sometimes I read and think, well I've only read about the Christmas story, the account of the crucifixion, the letter to the to the Corinthian church like a million zillion times. What can I possibly learn. Then, when I think about which book of the Bible to spend my reading time on I sometimes can't help think - if only there were new books in the Bible I haven't read before, that would be so much more exciting.

I've always loved church and fellowship, and couldn't understand why some Christians avoid it when loving, learning, and serving together with fellow believers is clearly how God wants his family to live. And not only that, meaningful fellowship is such a blessing. Yet this week I thought, I am so tired I don't want to go to church. Why do I have to go. These months I often have problems listening with my heart in sermons because I sigh and think I know this passage well, I've heard the concepts and teachings before. (But yes, as long as I haven't put everything perfectly into practice, I would do well to listen attentively.) Then when I went to fellowship the other day prayer made me groan inside "oh no, why is this so long, boring and repetitive."

What did Jesus say to churches who endured life threatening persecution but lost their "first love"?

You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. - Revelations 2:3-4

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! - Revelations 3:15

But I know (or doubt sometimes, but I still believe more than I doubt) you are God, you are real, your words have power. I know you give me purpose, joy, mental stability. It troubles me deeply to be lethargic towards something that is my passion, but enthusiastic or not I will try to honour my commitment to you, seeking you as you have sought me.

"We shouldn't expect a relationship with God to remain on a constant plane all the time. Not long ago I celebrated my sixty-fifth wedding anniversary. Believe me, when you've been married that long, you don't stay on a plane of ecstasy all the time. Romance starts as a blazing bonfire - you know, 'You light up my life.' After a few decades it settles into something more like a heap of glowing coals. Sure, some of the heat dissipates, but coals are good, too; you can roast marshmallows, or warm your feet. A different level of companionship opens up." - Vernon, in Prayer by Philip Yancy

Indeed, in front of the fireplace is a good place to start contemplating about the changing flames in a relationship.

Clinical school

I started thinking about my choice of clinical school during the start of exam prep this time. Every clinical school gives similar but different teaching, different timetables and schedules. We hear of the greater competition in metro hospitals, more tutorials, more assessment preparation, giving their students obvious clues as to what the exam topics are. Then looking around our own group of students in rural, everyone is relatively relaxed, lazy at times. And I was pondering whether we're missing out, whether rural clinical school was a good thing for my learning. People often ask me whether B was my first choice, and why would I want to live in a "small country town" (it's not that small). Well, throughout this past week, I was reminded of some of the reasons that I chose come to RCS.

Studying with other people doing the same thing is fun. There was always someone ready to practice history taking and physical exam during the study break. Asking each other questions and talking med throughout the day after day, I realised I could remember things that I wouldn't be able to remember by staring and yawning at a textbook. Then during our written exam we were given lollies, water, pencils and an eraser. And in the OSCE we didn't wait a particularly long time because there were only fifteen students in our year here altogether versus say, over fifty students. Then there were those shared dinners, an outing to the playground and lake the day before exams, a fun game of "Mr Squiggle" on the morning of our OSCE, and classmates to tell you "don't stress you just need to get an average sort of mark, you just want to be a GP." Haha okay, I feel great now. This exam period was the most fun one I've had at uni, partly because it's weighted lightly and largely because of the good company.

I never got to know many classmates well, and made less than a handful of people who I would call friends in the first two and a half years of university. I found it difficult how everyone was coming and going, and lived all over M. So that was one reason for RCS, to live with and get to know a few fellow med students better. And it has been a joy to study, live, hang out with the people here (except the days when I'm grumpy or people are particularly annoying). And I love my group.

And I remember mum saying, maybe you'll like rural because it'll be more like living in D. That's been surprisingly true too. Yesterday I was in M and just realised how noisy the CBD is, how did I ever fall asleep living next to the tram line, hospital (with ambulances) and fire station? Then the traffic jams looked horrible. Then I thought smaller places are much nicer places to live, it's quiet and everyone is accessible within 10 minutes with a car. I do miss my night strolls through M though. I like the shops here because it reminds me of the main shopping centre in D. I love my church here too.

Half a year ago, I had no idea what we would do in clinical school. What do you mean you just talk to patients?? Then the students in the years above us said that they prefer clinicals over preclinicals because you "see real patients", "it's more relevant" and "it's more hands on". And because nearly everyone I talked to said that, I was determined not to like clinical school for the same reasons as everyone else haha.

But I enjoyed this semester - I enjoyed the study content, the small-ish hospital where everyone looks familiar, the place I live and the people around me. I was happy most of the time. Maybe because of these things I'm taking a greater interest in reading and learning med, in learning to be a doctor. I'm glad to have chosen B.

I'm thankful to God for leading me, and helping me to make decisions at each step of this course (and beyond). I believe God was with me during that year in S - teaching me to accept times of solitude, helping me finish the research project and report quite completely although there was a lack of good supervision, helping me to find a lovely host family, preparing for these years with a good med student fellowship, giving lots of opportunities to share God's love with those around me, and two trips across the seas to my hometown, to get to know my extended family better. Who can say for sure where and how God's hand were on these things, but I know having a relationship with him aligns my thoughts, my heart, my purpose with his. And God does act.

I think after a few more month, on hindsight, I will see the plans you have for me here more clearly too.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28

Come on, have a drink

Question 1: Do you want a drink. No thanks. And when you ask 5 minutes later the answer will still be no. And when you ask next week, next month, I'm still going to answer no. No, no, no.

Question 2 (worse than question 1): Why? Come on, I've only lived here for nearly half a year. I've had this asked by someone or the other at nearly every social event, or just evenings in the lounge, whenever alcohol is involved. And I've always given the same answers.

Question 3 (worse still): Why not? Come on, have a drink. It tastes good, it'll make you feel good, there's barely any alcohol in it, you can hardly taste it, see, even so and so is drinking (insert other persuasive comments).

We've been through this. I don't need to repeat myself. Let me describe why I don't accept drinks in detail.

Physical factors
1. I don't drink because genetically I don't process alcohol well.
2. I don't like the hot face and sleepiness that I get with half a glass of wine.
3. I looked in the mirror when I had a flushed face and found it hideous, I especially don't want to drink when I want to take photos - yes it's vain and superficial, but so be it.
4. I am a curious cat and sip drinks from time to time - especially back in the college days. I've never found a good tasting drink, and although some cocktails are nice, they would taste better without the alcohol content (if it tasted so good you don't need all the sugar, fruit and colours to cover up the alcohol content)

Social factors
1. I don't care anymore that everyone else enjoys it, that it acts a social lubricant. I'm aware that I have less common ground with others because of this, but I don't need to take something that I don't enjoy, I don't need to be someone I'm not.
2. I can have a laugh, be relaxed, silly, enjoy your company without sharing drinks.
3. Slowly over the years I've made up my mind on the matter, I know who I am so I don't need to be a sheep, I'm not ashamed to be different.

Value factors
1. I don't want to drink anywhere near the amount that is needed to get drunk because you can do things or have things done to you that you would regret - that's not wise.
2. I don't want to get drunk, addicted and such because it doesn't please God.

Basically I don't enjoy it and I don't like the effects. I'm ok with good natured offers of drinks and even questions about why I don't drink. But when I've answered your questions, and made it clear that I've made a decision about this matter, please don't ask again and again, and please don't push the matter or (especially) make disrespectful comments about me not participating in these acitivites.

Monsters

Just a story. So it's fictional, maybe. I didn't write it today. Not suitable for children.

Once upon a time there was an institution, and a girl lived there. There was also a Monster, a hideous shadow whose name was Pain. At night, when silence and darkness prevailed, he would visit her room, sometimes sneaking up without a sound, sometimes entering rudely with a loud bang. He would reach out those deformed claws and hook them tightly into her chest, tugging and tearing the flesh. Then standing back, he would watch the splatter, drizzle of blood, the cough and the fear. She barely had the strength to call for help, and even if she did, he made sure there was no one was close enough to hear. She would hide under her sheets, and hug herself tight, closing her eyes so that she would not see his formless face. She cried and cried and he would collect tears as if he was collecting gold. Eventually Pain would be satisfied and leave. Miraculously her wound would disappear without a trace. She felt a lingering throb and twisting of her insides. But there were no physical injuries and scars, and the healers were unable to offer any help.

When Pain left, his good friend Loneliness always followed. He was a pale, solemn looking man with a neat suit and briefcase, with no particular features to distinguish himself as one of the Monsters. Loneliness never raised his voice and was always polite, as if he was paying a social visit. And he would talk. He would come up close to her and whisper in her ears and chill her insides with his cold breath. He was a professional liar, or was he brutally honest, she couldn’t tell. He convinced her that no one understood, no one cared and Friends did not exist but were illusions. They all hate you, he would say, don’t you remember when they said this to you, and my, did you notice the tone they spoke to you in? Then Loneliness would lay a cold hand on her shoulder and say, that’s okay, I will stay with you for the night. Occasionally though, a fellow inmate, a Friend, would walk in while he was talking to her. The girl would turn back to Loneliness and retort, hey, you are wrong! He would shrug, then bow, and excuse himself and leave.

On the nights of their visits, the Monsters would enter some rooms in the institution, but not others. No one really knew why that was so. The girl guessed it was because she was weak and did not kick them out, or run fast enough. Or that she and the Monsters grew mutually familiar with each other’s company. Or was it that she was stupidly feeding them something they hungered for. Or perhaps, they merely came to remind her that there was no space, no room available, no place suitable for her in the institution – telling her she had to leave. Some inmates saw and felt the attacks, while others were oblivious. Some were strong and defeated the Monsters. However, others grew weary of seeing the Monsters on many dark nights, and eventually agreed to negotiate with Despair, who was the master of Pain and Loneliness. The girl hated Despair and prepared many knives to throw at him. Since she forged the knives, he had stopped visiting her. She grew very angry and upset when Despair tried to offer her Friends a deal. He told them about the land where there were no Monsters. In exchange for their room in the institution, he could offer a one-way train ticket to that land beyond the hills.

Fireproof

Fireproof was a great film. It's great to see a well made, thoughtful Christian film bringing into life messages of marriage and families in a way that's relevant for both Christian and non Christians, young adults and married couples. I'll include some of my favourite quotes from the film.


For better or worse

Nearing the end of uni life, and with some of our friends starting families already, we're at that stage in life when we start thinking about life partners and marriage. Hollywood movies and songs often give skewed views of love. Songs casually throw around the words "永远" (forever). Surely you know Taylor Swift's "Love Story" - ah the happy ending of a marriage proposal.

 "The sad part about it is, when most people promise for better or for worse, they really only mean for the better."


Difficulties and commitment

"Fireproof doesn't mean the fire will never come. It means when the fire comes that you will be able to withstand it."

Weddings are such happy occasions. But watching Fireproof made me sigh at how difficult marriage is - familiar breeding ungratefulness, the alluring attention of third parties (or colleagues in the hospital...), the stresses and pressures of work and everyday life. But if we stop to think, we see much of this in our own families, in families around us. Do we really understand what marriage is about? If parents aren't great examples, if we don't listen to the life stories and counsel of older generations, how are we to understand the magnititude of a lifelong committment? How will we learn how to stay married when times are difficult? There is no perfect man - he will disappoint, fall, sin, hurt, at some stage. If informed consent is needed for medical procedures, it should be required for marriage too. Like the comical analogy my friend gave about people baptising without understanding what's happening:

"Its like grabbing a bunch of people and randomly marrying them, and shortly after saying oh sorry. Or not even saying just knowing that it meant nothing."


The 40 days love dare

Oh how different is the world of dating! My classmates were discussing how statistics show many married couples have sex less than once a week, but how dating couples were having sex "all the time". Ironic that the gift meant for marriage is often seen as more exciting outside marriage. It's incredible the amount of energy young couples take to spend together, how much thought goes into buying presents for dates, how many words are spent on declaring their love for one another.Yet it's too much energy for more long term couples to even speak kindly to each other. And is it a wonder that the couple in the film felt the "feeling" was gone after those years of marriage. Sparks come and go, but with good communication, some thoughtfulness, much patience and forgiveness (need God for this) I'm guessing it's possible to "fall in love" many times with the man or woman you marry.

"When a man is trying to win the heart of a woman, he studies her. He learns her likes, dislikes, habits and hobbies. But after he wins her heart and marries her he often stops learning about her. lf the amount he studied her before marriage was equal to a high school degree, he should continue to learn until he gains a college degree, a master's degree and ultimately, a doctorate degree."

Hospital heirarchies

Now is a good time write these observations, before we're so familiar with how hospital heirarchy works that we stop questioning it.

Nurses and allied health: last time I briefly mentioned an incident where I was mistaken for a doctor. That time the nurse came around to take routine blood glucose, and said to another nurse "oh, the doctor is in there, we'll come back later". I probably said they can take the blood first, but they insisted on coming back after I finish (which took maybe another half an hour). It seems that it's normal for nurses to "give way" to doctors, and we often see this during daily rounds. That's okay, I guess nurses are always with their patients, and doctors only have limited time with each patient.

But that doesn't mean doctors should see themselves as more important, or somehow "higher" in comparison. Doctors diagnose and investigate, making much of the decisions in patient care. But nurses are the ones monitoring patients, doing much of the physical work of taking care of patients in the hospital. The physiotherapists help the patients to move about and breath better, which so many of these elderly patients need. Social workers are called in for many patients too - otherwise, how can you responsibly discharge a patient when he can't cope with daily tasks of preparing meals, shopping, showering himself at home? There's many others - pharmicists, speech therapists. I admire the work they do.

Picture of the consultant: Consultants have distinct characteristics. Often male. Perhaps with a moustache and glasses, perhaps balding, middle aged (like they're all our parent's age), tall (height seems to help you have the "look"). With a solemn look and limited facial expressions. In a suit, because as my classmate pointed out, the higher up you are, the less you need to do messy procedures. They walk and talk relatively slowly (vs the junior medical staff that are always in a rush from one side of the hospital to another). During a ward round, the other staff on the team are always careful and respectful around them, and the eyes of the staff are always on them. They are the only doctors who are actually addressed as Dr so and so amongst other doctors. The only time junior doctors introduce themselves not by their first name, but as Dr, is when they are on the phone to non medical staff  (eg. the receptionist at the GP clinic).

The medical student: The radiologist in Singapore made a good point about distinguishing medical students from graduates by the way they walk around in clusters. And it seems as a student the more features you share with these consultants the more pro you look. For example, a graduate student who looks older, with a bit of height, a touch of facial hair seems to commands more respect than the youthful face of an undergraduate.

Oh and there are no white coats in many of our hospitals. So the identifying factor of a doctor or medical student is their lack of uniform (nurses often have uniforms) and the stethescope around their neck (which actually seems to be used more often than I expected).

Isn't it interesting, now we can make a more educated guess of who is who even at a new hospital where we don't know anyone...

Drinking, pfft

Tell me.

What makes a person who drinks more fun or a better friend than one who doesn't? What makes people who party socially admired compared to those who don't? Why do those who don't actually enjoy drinking boast that actually, they are able to skull drinks (it obviously tastes terrible if you have to shove it straight down your throat without it first going through your mouth)?

The social overtone is strong wherever I turn (much more so than in Singapore) that I feel like a large aspect of Australian (or Western) uni culture is foreign to me.

If you pressure me to share interests of drinking or clubbing to be accepted... forget it, because that's not who I am. I do like club music and dancing is fun, but a roomful of sleazy, lustful men is not. Losing inhibition might be amusing but the risks are not worth it and drunkedness doesn't please God. I'm not going to touch it apart from the occasional sip out of curiosity for the taste of pretty cocktails.

In first and second year I felt out of place. I didn't know how come I didn't "understand" these typical uni student activities, sometimes I felt unsure, swayed. Well, it's been a few years and I know myself and my purpose a bit better. I'm not ashamed of who I am, I don't need to learn to enjoy these things that I don't enjoy, and no matter what you tell me I'm 100% sure I'm not missing out. Because satisfaction and joy without a bad aftertaste (or hangover) is from the Lord.

Thinking about clinical school

At our church's youth music concert recently, we sang this song:

我要向高山举目 - 赞美之泉

我要向高山举目,我的帮助从何来
我的帮助从造天地的耶和华而来
我要向高山举目,我的帮助从何来
我的帮助从造天地的耶和华而来

哈利路亚,哈利路亚,哈利路亚,哈利路
哈利路亚,哈利路亚,哈利路亚,哈利路

"I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." - Psalm 121:1-2

The transition from class to clinical school... settling into my new place, trying to unpack, clean my dusty room and buy basic ingredients to start cooking. Getting up on foggy mornings for early rounds, meeting up after dinner for late night PBLs (tutorials). Unfamiliar hospital terms, finding doctors, facing mortality each day seeing oncology patients.

I particularly have this awareness of rank. Consultants, registrars, residents, interns, med students. It's normal, but it's intimidating. But why do we fear? I should respect them, but their favour (or disfavour...) is not a measure of my worth. Because God, who is far greater, is my helper.

"Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them - the Lord, who remains faithful forever." - Psalm 146:3-6

It comes back to perspectives again, to fix my eyes on what is eternal instead of what is tangible but temporary. It's hard to do that in the company of other medical students, because career or study-minded thinking is quite different to God's perspectives. Sigh. I have some questions to ask myself:

What if I finish clinical years, but along the way use patients, colleagues and staff as instruments for my own benefit and use, and forget to love? Why study pathology, clinical signs and treatment regimes to heal if I don't remember to bring God's light and love to patients?

"If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing." - 1 Corinthians 13:3

So what if I see all the common diseases and have a excellent knowledge base (haha, wonder if that'd ever happen), but end up being constantly tired and easily irritable? What if I go through these years at the expense of my mental health and personal relationships? What if I get lost in busyness and work, so as to forget my purpose?

Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. - Ecclesiastes 2:11

Father in heaven, help me see clinical school in the light of your mission and purpose. Teach me to balance my learning with my time in prayer and reflection. To learn to be still and know that you are God even when I feel like I'm too busy to be quiet. To set aside time for others, and time to rest and sleep.

Last days

I have many weeks of thoughts to make up for - for my last days in S til now. My last two weeks following the completion of my report was busy with farewells and outings.


Serving and blessings
I thought I was doing a stranger a favour, a kind deed, being generous. I was reluctantly obeying God's commands not to show favouritism, in a manner often more condescending than loving. Yet I was encouraged, abundantly blessed and learned more from the friendship than I could have imagined or deserved. Later, we had an opportunity to serve in healthcare. I learnt more about seeing and loving people as God loves, and that was a time of great joy that reminds me of the verse:

"It is more blessed to give than to receive" - Acts 20:35

And to summarise what I learnt about people:

"You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you. But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you'll learn things you never knew you never knew." - Pocahontas


Being alone and friendships
Amongst other things, by the end of this year I've experienced watching movies alone and enjoying it, and eating alone many times and being ok with that (although I hated the feeling initially). But I still love good company.

Some say and I guess it's true that for most of the part in recent years, I've always had a close friend - or more honestly, a relationship in close proximity. Then there is always someone I would care for, spend time with, go visit places with, eat with. I heard a sharing once that singleness allows you to develop a deeper relationships with friends. Perhaps being quite alone here gave me the time and emotional energy to invest in, care for and pray for friends, fellowship people I meet and others around me.

Although I hated and despaired in the seasons of loneliness, I thank God for giving me a time to grow as an individual. It's only in the last few months were the ones where I began to love those at church, and got to know new friends through dance. It's funny (or unfortunate?) to realise that I possibly made more meaningful friendships S during that one year than my time in M. The "extra time" that I had this year but would not have had during semester in uni probably also contributed to this.

Sometimes I wonder if those friendships are different because people know that I won't be around - will some be less interested to get to know me? would some show more friendliness because I'm leaving anyway? I guess I won't find out haha.


Saying goodbye for now
It's sad to say goodbye, but I felt loved by the farewell gatherings during the last 2 weeks. Thank you friends at VCF, dance, Q, my host family, and other individual friends for all the farewells. And especially cards and notes because to me that's the best gift.

I find it disorientating to move into and out of people's lives constantly. It is indeed hard to stay in touch when you live far away. A friend commented that it's only a matter of time before we forget each other, haha how cynical, but it rings with some truth. But it's likely I will be back and we'll cross paths again.

Performance and new friends :)

video
 
(Sorry nothing amazing here, we're all from the beginner's / intermediate classes!)

Previously I mentioned the Lindy Hop lessons I joined. The past 2 weeks has really been an exciting journey, all in preparation for the performance on Monday night. To think, everything for that two and a half minutes on stage! It was physically exhausting but fun to rehearse for hours nearly every second night. To reach home by midnight, sometimes after prata for supper, and then knock out on my bed (but to my horror I still had insomnia over the weekend) and wake up with sore arms, legs and backs. Added bonuses of photo shoot, experimenting with the other girl's extensive collection of make up, and various suppers and talks throughout the process. Ah it was memorable and I'll miss it!

I'm glad to have met all of you. JY for learning to dip and hold properly for Russian kick and not dropping me on the floor, and always prompting us all to go for supper. R & M - one amusing memory is when you two were demonstrating something then JY said "what dance  move is that...? oh you're just holding hands". G & X with your hidden singing talents too. D the cool Asian kid who can't speak Chinese and has smooth hair that a girl would envy. R the big eyed girl from whom I found out a pharmacy course exists at this university. YL, the dancer who reminds me of a Chinese actress and only much later did I find out she too was a medical student! YB, the only girl lead with a magician hat and a pro makeup kit. YT & LT whose names I couldn't figure out which was which until YT did the "eating" hand action. Too bad we've only just met and it's time to say goodbye, thanks for sharing this journey!

Interestingly I also discovered things about hobbies, dance and beauty. That hobbies are good things to share and enjoy in life. Yet if I'm not careful they can take up all of my time and thoughts that I don't seek God as much, and lose focus of my real purpose, and forget how brief life is.

Before I joined dance I prayed and considered how God sees it. You might be surprised to find the number of articles Google finds when you type in dance and Bible. I learnt that "the earth is the Lord's, and everything in it" (1 Cor 10:26) including dance, music and beauty. Yet because of human nature good things are often corrupted - beauty, instead of drawing praise to God's creation, draws people towards sin and obsession. Even in our concert the "costumes" of some dance groups were glaringly provocative that most girls including myself, would instinctively know what exactly a guy would be staring at. Make up and dressing up is fun but to judge beauty only by body shape or physical features, or to pursue it obsessively undoubtedly causes much insecurity, and futility in chasing physical perfection and youth.

Through dance, I understood better the choice and responsibility God gives his children - that in many areas of daily living and hobbies there is no clear do's and don'ts. Rather, "everything is permissible - but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others." (1 Cor 10:23) and we keep in mind that whether we "eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble - whether Jews, Greeks, or the church of God." (1 Cor 10:31-32) For myself and for my brothers, I chose a lively instead of sensual style of dance. Remembering all I do is for the glory of God, I'm also aware not to flirt or seek the attention of guys where I have no intention for a relationship (would be selfish rather than seeking the good of others).

"Yes, the world cheapens and prostitutes beauty, making it all about a perfect figure few women can attain. But Christians minimize beauty, too, or over-spiritualize it" - Stasi Eldredge
 
Remembering that everything on earth is the Lord's also means I can give thanks for the friendships, fun, joy and beauty of dance. Just as I can give thanks for the gift of drawing, and relaxation in playing piano, I can give thanks for the wonder of dancing to the music, being able to jump and turn with improving coordination. That I can smile at the colourful dresses of girls and the suspender costumes for guys. God is the creator of females and our beauty, he is a great artist and the creator of breath-taking scenes like shooting stars. May he be seen and praised when we appreciate beauty, may he be praised and thanked when we dance.

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." - Col 3:17
 

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