Living in a brand new place and making it feel like home has taken some creativity and at times, some dying to self. We find little things that can bless and bring us back to some comforts of the states. For example, since dairy products are uncommon, I cherish my bowl of cereal that I can have once a week and we will, on occasion, treat ourselves to a brewed cup of coffee instead of the instant that we typically will drink. So, being a lover of all things active, I decided to break the norm and go for a run before prayer.
As I began to jog out of our complex, I smiled at all those staring, weaved through the bikers and vehicles, and headed for the park. For all who are unaware, the Chinese love to exercise, but not in the ways that you would think. (See video below) They like to do neck stretches, leg kicks, hip rolls, dances, swing around whips, and everything in between. Naturally, I find this to be quite amusing, but love to see how the elderly people gather together in community and exercise in public with zero shame or embarrassment. So as I ran through the park, I made a turn for the dancing women and felt the Lord say, “Erin, it’s time to dance.” Since our ‘group’ prides themselves as being ‘Spirit Led’ and I am obedient, I did what I was told. 🙂 I watched a couple of dances, trying to mimic their movements in my mind. The 30 women in front of me noticed me standing there and immediately began motioning for me to join them.
After I got over my self-consciousness and giggles, I began to follow their lead with more ease. Let’s just say my dancing skills are lacking in the way of Chinese techniques but, I stood right within their group, women 40 years my senior, and tried to keep up. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! Initially I thought, okay, just one song and then I can get back to my run. Then about four songs later, I realized that I would be late for prayer if I stayed any longer. So once we finished our last arm waves, prancing jumps, and spinning hip twists, I thanked the beautiful ladies, received their warm smiles, and continued with my run.
God is full of surprises and gives us a world that is surrounded by opportunities- some that we miss and others that we just need to say yes to. Do not let these opportunities pass you by. There is such a beautiful and fun world out there, so I challenge you to break away from your routine and just say yes! Say yes to breaking out of your comfort zone and try something new. As for me, I think I have just added to my weekly schedule: Thursday dances in the park.
Enjoy this video! I find it to be hysterical because it is an accurate representation of Chinese exercises! To give you an idea of my dancing watch up to 2 minutes and 30 seconds. (Our dances were much faster. These women were pros!)