Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Smiling in the Shadows

     The play is announced! After weeks of waiting, the title of the college's next theater production is revealed! In nervous anticipation, you prepare for auditions that will surely be a little intense. Your friends and other theater comrades excitedly begin to pre-cast the characters in hushed tones so as not to upset anyone. The auditions go well and everyone says you did a great job! You can already imagine what it would be like to play a specific character, picturing what your costume would look like and how much stage time you would get. You tell yourself not to get too excited. After all, the director might pick someone else for the part that you so desire. Yet, there is always a secret hope that you will be the star.

     The cast list is posted, naming every character beside the actor's name.
     You press your finger on the newly printed sheet and slide it down until it lands on yours.                    Swiftly, you move it over to see the character that you get to portray.

Rebekah Runner                                                                           Extra

     Immediately, doubt and disappointment flood your mind. Stupid questions reenter your brain. Was I not good enough? Am I not as good of an actor as I thought? What's wrong with me? Were my friends lying to me the whole time when they said I was good? The director must not like me.

     Friends, every performer has felt the saddened shame of not being chosen to perform in the spotlight. This is a most recent reality for me. This has happened multiple times before, and each time it does I have to remind myself of the truth. I do theater because I enjoy it. I work hard because I work unto the Lord. God's plan for me is to have that specific part, even if it is just smiling in the shadows.

     This pertains not only to theater and on-stage performance. This relates to all of life. 
Sometimes your full potential can only be reached where no one can see it. 

     We complain that if we work "behind the scenes" no one will notice us. We won't receive the credit for a job well done. It's not worth putting in all the effort if it is not recognized.

     This is a lie! I have been given many jobs and put into many situations that seem dumb and trivial compared to the grand scheme of things. (My work study jobs on campus currently include putting computer paper into all the printers on campus and washing dishes on Saturday mornings.) I have been a greeter at a bookstore, a stage manager who turns on a fog machine, a fill-in player, an assistant to the assistant, and the silent listener. Most people view these as trivial jobs, but the Lord can give you an attitude of seeing it as a grand opportunity.

     Every small act of kindness or diligence in a trivial task can be used to the glory of God! 

     You have been placed in your position by the Lord Almighty, and He is the only one who can see the outcome of your faithfulness! He's got such a grand plan in store!

     So here's a challenge for you today. No matter where you are at in life (if you are a farm hand, an intern, an introverted friend, a dishwasher, an accompanist, a bench-warmer, or a background actor) be the best you can be for the glory of God! He can use you to your full potential no matter how small of a box you think you're in!