When you are in the bathroom for an hour and your parents forget that you were there and freak out when you return and are all like, “what were you doing in there? We thought you had gone to bed. Did the toilet flush after you were finished? You must have read all the magazines in there huh?” and in reality all you did was go pee and then proceed to sit there and think about the deep questions of life letting those tiled walls bring you peace and solitude and clarity. you never even thought to get up until your feet were going numb. And when you return to people and reality and you are being interrogated as to why and what you were doing, you just nod your head and say, “i was just on the pot” never letting them in on your secret… never letting them know about your sacred spot in the house….
…butt cheeks planted
…working out the problems of the universe
…you, the tiled walls, the toilet, and God
…and the occasional dribble of pee
Sitting here, I feel a bit ridiculous. I call my self a “Christ-follower”. I proclaim to believe and follow God incarnate, and yet, I sit here.
I rarely move. I rarely act. I interact, yet what am I really doing?
Tonight I read the UNICEF blog of an actor whom I happen to admire. He is currently traveling in Africa with UNICEF learning about all of the work that they do in malnourished, diseased, and uneducated countries. Clicking on the link that would eventually lead me to what I thought to be a brief update of his travels with a few token snap shots capturing “hey, look at this movie actor doing good things…aren’t you glad we caught it on camera?” moments, I was caught unawares by the detailed and riveting descriptions that I found there. He wrote about the malnourished babies in the hospitals, the uneducated mothers who didn’t even know to breastfeed their children, and the hunger for knowledge that was evident among the people. I read every word, my heart pounding more and more, moved by the depictions and state of affairs in this country.
“Conviction” does not exactly describe what I felt while reading this. Neither does “inspired”. I feel more of an unrest and a lack of peace. I have been reminded yet again of the state of the world and it makes me uncomfortable. I remember what I read earlier this week in the book of Luke. Jesus enters the synagogue in Nazareth on the Sabbath day. He opens up the scroll of Isaiah and reads aloud “ The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” Jesus, the promised Messiah, the Christ, was meant to do these things while on earth, and He did. What does this mean to me, a self-proclaimed Christ-follower? How should this affect my way of life?
My attention is once again drawn to the depictions of this actor in a third world country. He is so honest, so open, and so blunt. I suddenly feel so dirty just sitting here. Sitting. Doing nothing. Why can I not follow the actions taken by that of my Lord? When He saw a need, he filled it. He filled it selflessly and with so much compassion and love that He changed the world for the rest of time and history. The words of Jesus found in the gospel of Luke, “Follow me” echo in my head. This actor realizes the need and is willing to get up close and take an honest look at the situation, yet I sit in my house afraid that of getting too close, terrified of what I will find if I get too close to the hurt, too close to the pain, too close to the physical suffering that screams the question, “Why?” and suggestions the question, “What can I do to help?”.
I, self-proclaimed Christ-follower, am not really following Christ’s example at all. I do not believe that this means that I must immediately sell all of my things and move to Africa and spend the rest of my life feeding the poor, but I do realize that I am not doing much of anything. I am doing nothing….nothing. Even in my interactions with people, I do not seek to help or be present in a way that would be open to help, change, or ministry. I want what I can get out of a person.
I am reminded once again of God’s calling to all people to love Him and to love others. I am reminded of the commission to make disciples of all men. I am reminded of Jesus’ acts of love and kindness that led people to repentance. I am reminded that there is a hurting world and people in need everywhere I go, if I am just willing to see it and make myself available to it.
From the writings of a man whom I have no real idea about except that he has nice eyes, I am encouraged to seek God more passionately and more thoroughly for that which he has called me. I am encouraged to eagerly look for opportunities to serve in any circumstance. I cannot go to Africa now and be a part of the work there due to life circumstances. I cannot even afford to help financially from a distance. But I can practice service and commission now. I can follow Christ now in my everyday circumstances in my interactions with people, in my classes, in my opera production, and in my home showing kindness and compassion and fulfilling needs where I see them, not afraid of seeing the hurt, the pain, the suffering, and of contemplating the question, “Why?”
Give me your eyes, God. Give me your heart. Make me humble. Spur me onto action. Lead me to truth. Lead me to love. Give me courage. Thanks for speaking to me no matter where I am at in life. Forgive me for my sitting, for my apathy, for my excuses. Make me new again and again.
When you think to yourself, “Why is he so handsome?”.
Surprisingly, perfectionists are often procrastinators, as they can tend to think “I don’t have the right skills or resources to do this perfectly now, so I won’t do it at all.”
1. your real name: Sharon
2. your detective name (favorite color and favorite animal): Green Dog
3. your soap opera name (middle name and street you live on): Diane Curtis and King
4. your star wars name (first three letters of last name, first two of middle name, first two of first, last three of last): Cladishark
5. superhero name (color of your shirt, first item to your immediate left): Pink Form and Analysis Homework Assignment….or Pink Mozart Piano Sonata in B flat Major, K. 333, Mvt. 3
6. goth name (black and one of your pets): Black Neverhadapet
This didn’t work so good for me….
So I like to sing. Because I like to sing, I work really hard at getting better. I practice a lot, and I feel that I have improved immensely over that past few years. Now in the recent past, I have auditioned for several things within my music program to no avail. I figure that I am an upper class-men. I have more experience. Excuse my pride, I feel that I sound decent enough to get one little solo, yet I continue to be unsuccessful. I keep experiencing rejection. So what does this mean? And what do I do about it?
Some would say, that rejection is just part of the process. Most talented people are rejected and rejected, audition after audition, but eventually because of their perseverance, they succeed at some point being so thankful that they kept pushing forward in their career. If they had not, they would not be where they are now.
Others would take rejection as some sort of sign that maybe they do not have as much talent as they presumed. Others would see it as completely humbling realizing that they are not what they thought they were. They would reevaluate their choices in life and start life down a different path.
Now let me just say, all the things that I auditioned for are really nothing in the scheme of things, and if I cannot handle this, I might as well give up now because I have a long dark road ahead of me. Such is the life a musician or any artist for that matter. My whole point is, I wrestle with my thoughts all of the time. What is the point of trying to be a successful musician at all, if I cannot even get tiny, tiny solos in such a tiny, tiny voice department? Really, what am I doing here? Am I just fooling myself? Do I just have delusions of grandeur?
I realize that I must be kidding myself. How can I be better than the other people in the department if I cannot beat them out for a solo or role?
The only thing that keeps me going is the whole idea of rejection being part of the process. It spurs me on to a higher level of excellence. Sometimes it is the so hard to say with confidence, “I have talent. I have ability. I have the potential to do well and be better.” I am afraid of becoming momentarily prideful again risking an opportunity to eat humble pie. I rather just get a part/solo/whatever and give God the glory and be done with it, because it is so hard to thank God when I have been rejected.
But maybe that is the lesson after all. I am to do all things to his glory, all things as unto Him. I should not be boasting in myself but in Him alone. My goal should be to serve Him and multiply ten-fold those gifts that He has given me. What God desires is wholehearted surrender to His kingdom. He will add everything else and only those things that need be added. He made it clear to me that what my major should be. He will make it clear if and when I am suppose to quit whether that be for lack of ability or not.
Whewwwweeee. It is a struggle. A BIG struggle.