I walked in; turning around I didn’t see the others sitting in the audience waiting for the show to begin; instead I was there with twenty or more of us, lounging around with our feet up on the backs of the seats, in jeans and t-shirts, anything that would let us move. The director was there with his notes; we were all waiting, for our scene, for our audition, for the lighting and technical rehearsal to finally be over.
Nothing smells like a stage, lights heating up the dust collected within the barn door of a fresnel lantern, painted sets not yet dry, dustiness of hollow black plywood floors, and the ever-present scent of pancake make-up put on too thick. The music director was calling us over to work out the harmony parts for the next song; our choreographer was talking with the director insisting we needed more rehearsal time for the dance sequences; one cast member was catching a cat nap at the back of the theater; others were running lines with each other; me, I was taking it all in through every pore in my body; storing it all up inside before it was over, the audience filing out, and the sets struck.
I just attended a play at the Little Theater in our City; it was a triumph! I was overjoyed for them; I was thrilled to be a part of that moment in time. Thirty years ago it was me up onstage. Can it have been that long ago? Thankfully I didn’t have to leave my life’s passion through my career in education; after nineteen years served in the regular classroom mainly teaching grades four and five, I was called to teach Drama. Yes, I was called, not once, not twice, but three times; calls from two different districts, and eventually a call from my University Alma Mater. I answered all three calls.
It has never escaped me that You, Dear Lord, arranged my life with every call, success, disappointment, and failure. No path was by chance, no assignment insignificant, no encounters with students, parents, teachers, administrators, trivial. You took my strengths and weaknesses and found the perfect niche. Not a place I could hide out, but front and center for all to see, hear, and judge. So many mistakes were made in relationships with students, parents, teachers, administrators. Hard lessons some learned and corrected, others made over and over again. Should I have left those calls unanswered? Lord, You knew me too well. Jumping in with both feet, little direction, only past experience to guide me, You let me loose to play in the world I felt most at home. Your child grew best through hands on learning. Your child shared what she knew through hands on instruction. Your child blossomed. Your child learned how joy multiplies when shared success breeds success. Your child followed Your lead and called students to be front and center for all to see, hear, and be judged; not a place to hide, but to shine. Judgement came in the form of applause, praise, and respect for the hard work exhibited through the skills taught, rehearsed, and performed. My students may never be called to perform onstage again, but if they are, most will remember and hopefully approach confidently.
I started out wondering how I could have left. I never left! Heavenly Father, You’ve known me inside and out; You created me with skills to share and pass on; You blessed me beyond even my own imagination; how could I ever doubt that You led me through the paths and detours and construction areas and roadblocks. I trust You’re leading me in another direction now. After years of writing to You, I’m learning how to share my stories, my frustrations, my hopes, my dreams, my trust, my faith, my beliefs. I’m following Your lead wherever this goes. Nothing is left behind. I take all of me with me. Please Lord, take all of me with You.
Thank You, Bless You, Dear Lord. I love You, Jan
What if when you die, they ask “How was heaven?” ~Author Unknown
The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning. ~Ivy Baker Priest
There will be a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning. ~Louis L’Amour
I never ask God to give me anything; I only ask him to put me where things are. ~Mexican Proverb
One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries. ~A.A. Milne
Every exit is an entrance somewhere else. ~Tom Stoppard
Psalm 25:4 Living Bible
Show me the path where I should go, O Lord; point out the right road for me to walk.
Psalm 16:7-8 The Message
The wise counsel God gives when I’m awake
is confirmed by my sleeping heart.
Day and night I’ll stick with God;
I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go.
“Follow Me!” A Call So Tender
Words & Music: Andrew L. Skoog 1890
“Follow Me!” A call so tender
Falls upon my list’ning ear;
’Tis the voice of Christ, my Savior,
’Tis the Shepherd’s call I hear.’
O that call! Loving call!
’Tis the sweetest voice of all.
How it draws me nearer to Him
When I hear my Shepherd’s call!
Into pastures green He leadeth,
His own sheep He calls by name;
When their feet are sore and weary,
In His arms He carries them.
Little flock, fear not! He shields thee
From the dangers of the land.
Hear His promise: None shall ever
Pluck thee from His mighty hand.
In His steps, then, I would follow,
Seek in Him my all in all;
I am safe, whate’er befalls me,
When I heed His tender call.
the act, fact, or condition of being victorious or triumphant; victory; conquest. 2. a significant success or noteworthy achievement; instance or occasion of victory. 3. exultation resulting from victory; joy over success.