Over 25 students and their families gathered together over this past summer to perform another original musical…Redemption Railway. As I wrote/composed this work this past spring, I remember feeling the pressure of deadlines, navigating the procedures and policies from the church and school. It was overwhelming sometimes, but I’m used to it. It’s what I do. This is my job. This is my chosen career.
There were moments this past spring where I felt stumped, at a dead end. I couldn’t figure out how to finish out a scene, or a particular conversation in the script, or how to connect the plot-line into the next act. It was hard to even imagine how to integrate the muslin flats we had on hand. It stunted my inspiration, my creativity. The flow just became tainted and clogged. I finally did what I should always do first – I prayed. “God what do I write? How do I do this? What do you want to say in this script, this story?” The answer came: “Write YOUR story.” That answer stuck with me. It’s all I needed to promptly, effectively finish my work. I already had all the ideas, inspiration, and passion that I needed to complete the task and move forward with auditions, rehearsals, and the whole summer program. Though many will never know, Redemption Railway is cram-packed with tiny phrases, heartfelt ideas, insights, and feelings that I experienced throughout my life. I never knew that those were things God wanted to say. I had no idea as I lived my day-to-day life, God was writing scripts, stories, musicals, productions – through me. I just thought I was living my life.
I learned that when God gives a calling, I have everything within me that I need in order to complete it. I just had to look inside myself to find it, instead of looking to the outside. I hear so many times in the Christian community how we are to look to God, and NOT ourselves. But guess what? God lives INSIDE us. Sooooo….that is where I have to look in order to find Him. He lives inside me. He is that still, small voice. My greatest hinderances and failures in life have come when I have completely depended on people and outside sources for my spiritual guidance. Just as art has to come from within, so does everything of substance and growth. It can’t be forced, or copied and pasted.
There are moments in life where it’s almost time to go on stage. You’re the star…or at least…your entrance is coming up…and you have lines! Everyone will be watching, listening, expecting to see and hear great things from you…
WHAT IF I FAIL….
What if I forget my lines? Trip over a prop? What if the other cast members forget their entrances during the song, and I have to fill in for them? It’s so overwhelming. Maybe it’s just not worth it. The stress. The pressure. The expectations. The spotlight.
But this is what I was created for. This is my calling. In moments like these, I remember WHAT I am doing, and WHY I am doing it. I’m not just hanging out with my friends. I’m not just here to make money or gain some experience I will need for my future career. I’m definitely not trying to impress everyone with my superior talent – because no matter how good I get, I mess up! No. I am here to share my story, to express the light of God that is within me, and to sing from my heart…because THAT it what I was created to do.