I’m not a dancer.
At least, I’ve never considered myself to be one. There was that one time that I took ballet on the second floor of my apartment in Taiwan. My little sister had already been dancing for a few months, and I figured anything a two-year old toddler could do, I could do better.
False. Turns out it’s a lot easier for babies who can’t talk to be flexible than it is for second graders trying to one-up their sisters. After learning that I couldn’t do a split, I left my half-hour lesson, thus ending my illustrious ballet career sans tutu.
I could stop here and elaborate on the lessons I could have learned from this, how pride is evil, how perseverance could have changed my dancing outcome, or even how everyone has different gifts. (Maybe not all of us are meant to be flexible!) But I won’t.
So why am I talking about dancing?
Well, for me, college has been a time of firsts. First time living away from home. First time having my own room (discounting the pre-little sister era). And first time being in a musical.
That’s right! My first musical ever, The Wizard of Oz, opened this past weekend to a miraculous first two shows, I believe, by the Grace of God. In the past two weeks, my feet have been sore from jumping across the stage and learning choreography that has literally expanded my dancing repertoire by an infinite percentage. Rehearsing the musical has been fabulous, but it’s also been a difficult journey. An avid lover of musical theater since seeing Les Miserables on stage five years ago, I felt so surreal being on the other side of the curtain, even if our production was only a small fraction of what I witnessed as a freshman in high school. Being on the other side has also opened my eyes to what goes into making the magic happen. It’s true, being in a musical is great fun. But God has also been using the musical to teach me gently some hard lessons about leadership and servitude, humility and respect. Any production like the musical requires more than one person, and team efforts take work. It reminds me of the unity God calls us to have in the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12 tells us that although we are all different, we are all united by our common belief and trust in the saving power of Jesus Christ. I love John 17:23, when Jesus prays that we may “become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”
It reminds me that the Kingdom of God should be marked foremost by God’s Love, and although we can only exercise a shadow of the infinite Love of our Heavenly Father, it’s still a call that I pray God would help me answer.
The story of how Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion perseveringly follow the Yellow Brick Road despite all of their obstacles reminds me, in a way, of our strive to follow Christ. The four characters don’t know much about the Wizard of Oz, but they do know that he is their best shot to get what they need. Consequently, they do whatever they have to in order to reach him. How much harder should we seek God, knowing that He is Love, infinitely good, and infinitely faithful!
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
He knows exactly what I need and He is working all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Unlike the Wizard of Oz who turns out to be a powerless showman stuck in a strange land, God is infinitely powerful and glorious, able to fulfill His promises to us. How wonderful it is, then, that since we could not merit His Grace, He chose in His infinite love to extend it to us freely!
1 How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! 2 My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. 3 Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God. 4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise!
Dorothy was right. In the loving hands of our awesome Father, there really is no place like home.