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I was in a play recently.  I’d been wanting to do it for a  number of years, always with an eye out for a venue that would have me.  I saw a play listed in a local calendar of events, and the fine print indicated that it was community theater.  I sent off an email, and I was on my way.

I confess to more stress than was appropriate.  I let it overtake my life for the five weeks of rehearsal.  What if I mess up my lines?  What if I miss my cues?  What if I’m paralyzed by stage fright?  I’m quite sure it shortened my life.  There was not a thing I could do to get my heart to calm down.

The production went quite well.   None of my fears came to fruition.  And by closing night, I was actually a bit too relaxed.  I felt like each audience member was a guest in my house, and I wanted them to feel welcome and taken care of.  I sat on stage and looked out into each face, just enjoying the moment.  I didn’t miss any of my cues – but almost!  So there’s a lesson in this.  I could have believed what the director said all along, that as we knew our part, the whole thing would come together.  Just like life.

Since then, I’ve seen a DVD of the whole production.  My first thought was, “Why couldn’t we have seen this before we went on stage?  It would have helped to know better what we should have been doing.”  Then I thought of the director.  It was his job to see the whole picture.  It was my job to follow his direction.  Simple.  All I had to do was trust that the director knew what he was doing, that he was mindful of the finished product, that he was skilled in his ability to bring the story to life.  I didn’t need to see how I looked or hear how I sounded, I just needed to believe what he said.  It involved listening and following directions.

You see my point, don’t you?  If we could listen to God like that, we could stop worrying, stop wondering how we’re doing, and relax.  He’ll tell us when we’re off script, when we’re out of character, when we’re upstaging others in the cast.  He’s got the big picture in mind, and we’re part of it.

But there is the matter of the script.  Sometimes we want to write our own, or change the one He has given us.  Sometimes we even want to be in a different play.  But there is no other play, and there is no other director.  So I will play my part as best I can, under His skillful direction.  And in this play, my heart can be at peace.

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