Growing up, my parents hosted cookouts on our patio. After-dinner entertainment included my father playing guitar (think: Kingston Trio) kids twirling Hula Hoops and everyone doing the new Limbo dance.
The Limbo worked like this. Two volunteers would hold either side of a bar about three feet long, at waist’s height. While Caribbean music played, each dancer would lean backwards, scooting bent legs and torso under the bar. Guests lined up to try their skill. After each turn, the bar lower. A player who touched the bar with their shoulders or chest was disqualified.
Now Limbo, as a game is great fun. It breaks the ice and has people cheering on their fellow party guests. Unfortunately, Limbo Life isn’t. When we can’t sell our house, find a job or fix an ongoing relationship that limbo frustration seeps in.
Bitterness follows frustration. We ask: why didn’t we sell our house sooner? Why did I marry this person? Why did my company downsize just when I started? And the universal question: “What happened to my 401K? Many Americans ask themselves these questions while we slogs through this recession.
The Limbo song invites the players, “How low can you go?” and we scream, “No lower!” But standing mid-thigh in life’s crises we realize we can bend more than we dreamed. In Limbo-Land we learn to flex our rigid spending habits without breaking, becoming satisfied with less money or a rental house. We discover marriage can weather the unemployment storm with the relationship still intact. Resilience, an underrated quality can take a person far in life.
I, as a practicing Christian, (I’m still practicing) have gone through four years of Limbo Life. Due to job changes, we’ve become nomads. But while maneuvering the gauntlet of anger, depression, self-introspection and apathy, I’ve learned my back can twist and curve with life’s music. God will give us his game plan for the next few steps when I stop fussing and realize He is raising and lowering the bar. I’d love to keep the bar high so I don’t strain. But He knows I can bend and become a more flexible disciple for His kingdom. I wasn’t promised a life of ease when signing my life over to Him. When we sign up to be disciples of Jesus, we sign on to make our life count for something dearer than comfort. So hang on and stretch.
by Carol Stratton