This morning, as I was pondering whether to go early for church and go to the teen/young adult choir practice, and I happened to see the song for the first time. In playing it, it looked easy, so I decided to go for it, and since there were only a few tenors it was a good decision. The most potentially awkward person to sing with ended up being a spectator, and hopefully not too critical of one. By singing somewhat boldly, and doing well at it, a tone was set for the day. Among the beautiful lyrics of the song was the line, “I have plans for you, plans for good and not for evil.” That would just about sum up today, as there were a lot of plans going around, even if some of them may have been evil. Some of my plans were certainly for a bit of mischief, which appears to have been accomplished, but they were not plans for evil.
I was very pleased but also a bit baffled by the messages today. The sermonette was excellent, and by chance I had written about part of its topic earlier today . I am always pleased when I am of the same frame of mind as the speaker, or should I say, almost always pleased. In listening to the sermon I had a lot of food for thought. I had a brief chat with the minister after services, as he was pleased with my singing and viola playing, and probably the fact that I was an active listener as is my habit. That said, he made a comment that did not ring true according to my experience. In talking about how we have a greater family environment than before, he stated that unlike when he was a young minister, a young man would not be turned away at the teen dance these days. As it happens, that is generally not the case. At my first Northwest Weekend , when I had only been in the area a few months, I accidentally tried to enter the teen dance as I did not know where I was going. I was quickly set straight that this was not the place I should be, and then told where I should go, and so I did. No mischief or evil was meant, but I was definitely made unwelcome. I appreciate the sentiment; some people are particularly sensitive to others, especially those judged as unfriendly, invading their space. I feel the same way myself.
Today was definitely strange. After helping one of our less mobile brethren get to her transportation and eating a quick dinner, I helped set up the adult dance, which was definitely an excellent production like usual. Then I changed into my costume for the night (which prompted a lot of comments about it being elegant, very frilly, and very hot. One lovely young lady asked me if she could borrow the costume herself to wear it, which I took as a seal of approval. The costume, and its role as a conversation starter, definitely helped improve the evening, but it was still a weird evening. I made a couple of questionable decisions myself, but I saw some others around me who were making more questionable decisions yet. I remember as a teen that dances were way more fun, and a lot less complicated–if there was someone you wanted to dance with, you asked them to dance. Now I have two rules–no dancing with anyone one knows is too young, and no dancing with married people. Apparently a lot of people at an adult dance are eliminated by these two simple rules–as a lot of teens felt it appropriate to crash our dance half a dozen times, even though in some cases I felt constrained about not asking them to dance, and apparently at least one married woman kept on subtly suggesting that we should dance and didn’t understand that it was not appropriate for me to do so (especially since at some points there were ministers watching the proceedings, not that it influenced my behavior to avoid any trouble I wasn’t already trying to avoid. At least this dance was less of a torment than the family dance this past year at Bend.
It will take me some time, at least a few days, to see what the fallout will be for today for myself and a few others, if there is any. Dances have always been complicated for me , and this dance certainly was. Considering I crashed the teen dance with a lot of other adults, and managed to make an impression on at least a few of the teens whom I was dancing around, and considering that I seem to have made a similar impression when one of those teens came over to teach us a nice line dance that I was happy to add to my repertoire, well, I imagine there will be at least some complications from that. Only time will tell what they will be, but it is at least pleasant to know that God’s plans are good, even if we sometimes make life more difficult for ourselves than is strictly necessary.
 See, for example: