Here I am!

April 15, 2006

I studied ballet for 14 years. During this time I learned not only the moves, the positions, the poise, but also stage presence. Sometimes I still feel like I'm "on stage" all the time. As students, we watched performances of the great ones in our day. The greatest at the time, Rudolph Nureyev, possessed a charisma that still effects me. Miss Millie, my dance instructor, told us to watch him, to emulate him. Nureyev walked out on the stage and didn't do a thing but stand there and the audience broke out in applause. He silently announced to the thousands in attendance, "I am the greatest and here I am!"

Life gives us ample opportunities in the leading role of our lives. We can choose to learn new lines and improvise as we go through each day or repeat the same tired old script. We can study our part and know it inside and out, or we can scan through the gist of the scenes and wing it. It's up to us. When the curtain rises, our depth of preparedness is challenged and suddenly the spotlight shines on us and life beckons us to do something.

We rehearse and rehearse, but it's not really rehearsal - it's the real thing. We only think it's practice and study, but all along, life says "this is it, show us what you got," and we either bungle through or we radiate.

Many times, fear holds us back in the wings or even worse, in the dressing room. We see the great expanse of the world as our stage in front of us and the thought of coming out without our makeup and costume scares us into inaction. The larger fear of facing life with our lines, our plan, and the ending perfectly crafted scares us even more. We pace the floor searching for control, for a resolution that makes sense when life requires us only to walk on stage and bare our souls.

We write our own script and the Infinite produces our play. We edit, slash scenes, create more drama than necessary, in a life underwritten by a Spirit with whom we share our power in spite of our insecurities and inhibitions. God may choose the other actors in our play or at the least, He may choose who gets to audition. Take special note of who tries out for various parts in your life - and then notice who you accept and who you reject.

The greatness within you is not measured by your skill as a thespian. The greatness within you stems from the recognition that you direct your own life and you know your role.

When we reach the point of knowing ourselves, we too, can announce to the world, "Here I am!" and the world will applaud us in its own way. People respond to confidence, self-knowing, to someone who is not afraid of demonstrating his potential. The Spirit within us, aching to burst forth into the song of our talents, carries us through life in the footlights and spotlights. We must face our stage fright and show up, on the stage of our lives, fully dressed and ready to perform.

We may never get an encore.


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