I love the story that author, John Ortberg, writes in his book The Life You’ve Always Wanted. He writes, “Sometime ago I was giving a bath to our three children. I had a custom of bathing them together, more to save time than anything else. I knew that eventually I would have to stop the group bathing, but for the time being it seemed efficient.
Johnny was still in the tub, Laura was out and safely in her pajamas, and I was trying to get Mallory dried off. Mallory was out of the water, but was doing what has come to be known in our family as the Dee Dah Day dance. This consists of her running around and around in circles, singing over and over again ‘Dee dah day, dee dah day.’ It is a relatively simple dance expressing great joy. When she is too happy to hold it in any longer, when words are inadequate to give voice to her euphoria, she has to dance to release her joy. So she does the Dee Dah Day.
On this particular occasion, I was irritated. ‘Mallory, hurry!’ I prodded. So she did—she began running in circles faster and faster and chanting ‘dee dah day’ more rapidly. ‘No, Mallory, that’s not what I mean! Stop with the dee dah day stuff, and get over here so I can dry you off. Hurry!’
Then she asked a profound question: ‘Why?’
I had no answer. I had nowhere to go, nothing to do, no meetings to attend, no sermons to write. I was just so used to hurrying, so preoccupied with my own little agenda, so trapped in this rut of moving from one task to another, that here was life, here was joy, here was an invitation to the dance right in front of me—and I was missing it.”
I love that story because I have the same tendency to get so busy that I “miss the invitation to the dance.” I misplace my priorities thinking that the things in life that really matter are the things that I accomplish—the things I can “check off” my to do list. And in the process, I miss the “Dee Dah Day” moments.
Not long ago, Lee Ann Womack had the hit single, “I Hope You Dance.” In the chorus of the song she simply makes the statement, “And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance . . . I hope you dance.” And by the way, God encourages the same thing: “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24)
Do the “Dee Dah Day!”