Thursday, May 31, 2007

Making the Most of the Time

Today, I was playing "tourist in your hometown." That's a little game we folks who live here in the metro DC area like to play from time to time. We try to not take for granted the fact that we have a plethora of living stones, crafted into architecturally astounding buildings and monuments that house some of the most significant pieces of history anywhere, all within walking distance of one another.

I played this game today because I am hosting my best-friend's daughter for the week. I made an offer that I have gladly been taken up on: I told my friend that when each of her daughters turned 15, I would host them on their own private tour of DC. So...daughter #3 is here from Atlanta, and we are making the most of the time. At least, I thought we were doing a pretty good job of that until that thought was challenged.

We started off the day dropping my son at school at 7:30 am. We walked to the nearby National Cathedral where we were able to slip in for a mostly under-the-radar self-guided tour. As a priest in the diocese, its a place that I'm all too acquainted with so I felt equipped to lead this tour amidst the whir of the floor polishers and the hushed business of resetting chairs and mopping up some uninvited water. It was blessedly peaceful and a meaningful time.

We then hopped back in the car and headed for downtown. I had made arrangements with a pastor friend to park in her church's garage which is in close proximity to the day's destinations: The International Spy Museum and the National Archives. Both sites were great to see and we had fun.
But the particular thing that challenged my thought that I was "making the most of the time" occurred at the unlikely venue of the Hard Rock Cafe.
We were seated at the far end of the dining room opposite the bar. After a few minutes of browsing the menu we realized that 'something' was going on. There were excited noises from the crowd in the center of the restaurant so we looked. At the far end, on the elevated platform where the bar is was a man...dancing! He looked to be in his 50's. As soon as the ripple of noise moved through the room, I noticed one of the waiters coming out from around the corner near our booth. Smiling he said, "Ken must be here!"

When our waitress came to take our order I asked, "So, who is this dancing Ken guy?" She rolled her eyes a little and said, "Oh, Ken. He comes here every day."
"Every day?"
"Twice a day."
"Twice a day?"
Shaking her head she said, "He's here for lunch and then again after work. He just - dances. "

"So he works?" my young friend queried.
I said, "So he must work pretty close by..."
"Yep," she said, "F.B.I."

I nearly spewed the water I had just sipped.

Ken was not a great dancer. He only had about three moves. Once, about three songs into his little routine, he busted a new move and the crowd really took notice. He danced a little more, then sat down and ate his lunch nonchalantly.

Things I noticed:

1) He was having SOME FUN! And he seemed to really like the fact that everyone else was, too.
2) He smiled and faced the rest of the crowd the whole time he was doing this.
3) He didn't seem to care one bit about what anyone else was thinking. Clearly he liked the attention.
4) He was not a great dancer, but man! Ken could DANCE!

Things I wonder:

1) Since he worked in a mostly "classified" environment, did daily doses of public dancing serve to 'bare his soul' in some cathartic way?
2) Has anyone ever jumped up there and started dancing with him? If so, how much of the joint did he get jumping?
3) Could I ever make the most of the time in a safe, healthy, happy, inspiring, fun, foolish but not foolhardy way like Ken the dancing guy was doing?

Things I felt:

1) Happy - he brought a smile to our faces.
2) Lucky - what a great story to get to tell.
3) Sad - I love to dance, yet I doubt that I would ever have the gumption to do what he's doing.

Read Ephesians 5:10-16. You can find it here.

What could you do to Make the Most of the Time you have?


Ann said...

This is a great story for Trinity Sunday - a celebration of the dancing of God into our lives in various ways.
"God is not a static thing--not even a person--but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama. Almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance." (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity,)

Jennifer+ said...

Yes, Ann, that 'perichoretic' dance of the Holy Trinity is one to admire and emulate. Now you've got me really thinking about this dancing in a new the energy Ken infused into the room by his dancing - the joy, the life, the silliness of it all. Thanks!