As you listen to them talk about their dancing, most of them started at a very young age with the support of their parents to guide and motivate them. They were nurtured, tutored and encouraged. So for most of them, that natural talent was a starting point and hard work, determination and support from family or other adults was what kept them on track. I can't say that I ever had that drive for anything. Coming from a dysfunctional family, it was pretty much fend for myself. I know now that my parents loved me to the best of their ability, but back then I felt adrift and alone. I listened to music and read all the time. I loved studying for school and good grades were a reward for that. I think that is where my desire to write started, but I had no one behind me encouraging me to keep it up. It wasn't until I was over 50 that started to do what I now know God wanted me to do all along. Better late than never!
Watching these young adults give their all just in the scantest hopes that they will be able to achieve their dreams is amazing. Years of hard work, practice, injuries for a 30 second chance to impress the judges. Thirty seconds! To make an unforgettable first impression. I could barely get myself together in that time to get started! Wow, years of work for a 30 second chance to fulfill your greatest desire, achieve your lifelong dream, live out your deepest hopes.
30 seconds. Wait a moment. Actually, I fulfilled my greatest desire, achieved lifelong dreams and lived out my deepest hopes in about 30 seconds. That is what it took for me to say "yes" to Jesus. He spent hours, and days and years living a sinless life so that He could fulfill the dreams of His Father to provide a way of salvation for all mankind. His audition wasn't a mere 30 seconds either. It was agonizing hours on a cross. Agony, injury and brutality bought my chance to fulfill my passion. My greatest dream, my innermost hope was to belong to someone who loved me unconditionally. To be part of a family that would never leave me. To be wanted and needed and cherished. I gained all of that in the time it took me to say yes to Him. And what is so amazing is that my dreams and hopes are not just fulfilled, but they are exponentially growing every day. Where I am today is leap years from where I was when I committed to Him. My love, my talents, my abilities just continue to grow as I trust Him and allow Him to work in my life. As I live my life for Him, my desire to serve Him grows, or it should. My desire for fellowship with Him should increase. My need for the Word and for prayer time and study time should increase. I cannot rest on laurels that are not mine in the first place. He did all the work for me, now it is my pleasure and privilege to devote my life to Him.
I sometimes wonder what happens to some of those kids who don't make the cut. You know some come on the show for their few moments of fame, but the majority of them really want that career, that life. I wonder if some of them just get discouraged and throw in the towel. Feeling that this was their shot and that there is nothing more for them. I am sure many of them take their talent and use it locally or are even able to go onto large dance companies or other dance opportunities. Living the dream at whatever cost.
How did we get to be so blessed to live this dream, and we didn't have to pay that cost? I just think sometimes where my life would be without Him and I shudder to even contemplate it. Would I be an addict, would I be alone, would I even be alive. I know where I was, I know what He brought me out of. And because of that, I know where I am going. If you continue to look at the dance analogy, He spent the years of work, He had the hours of blood, sweat and tears, and then He is the one who made the audition. But then He is also the one who says you made it! Come on in and be part of my company. Come in and be part of my family. Yes, I've done all the hard work, and here is your golden ticket!
That golden ticket is not a license to rest, to feel that all has been achieved. It is the opportunity to be a part of His plan. A way to be a part of His great choreography in this world He created. A chance to dance a part chosen and planned just for you. To move in unison with His other children and create this beautiful exhibition.
What I really enjoy about the show is all of the different types of dance. I am not big on ballroom which seems all about control and precision. I love hip hop, especially animation and popping and locking, and dubstep; what joyful movements, what freedom! And I love tap dancing, I think from watching old black and white movies. So many styles, but all captivating in their own ways. That is how we are. We as Christians are all one body, but we all dance in different ways. We are all part of Him, but we all play different roles. Some are smooth and graceful, some are electrifying and almost jarring. Some are enchanting and some provoke deep feelings. But we all dance to the same grand Choreographer. He is the one who guides our steps, He is the one who chooses our music and sets the tempo. We must always remember that we are all His, and as we all dance together, we create this extravagant musical. In some of the old musicals they used to show a forward shot of the dancers, where it just looks like they are dancing almost randomly. Then they would go to an overhead shot, and you could see this amazing pattern emerge. Almost like a kaleidoscope. Seemingly random pieces of glass that form an exquisite design. All a part of His grand plan. All part of a heavenly dance, written and produced by a great, big God. I cannot wait for the encore!