Recently I had the truly joyful pleasure of attending Christ Chapel’s production of Hello Dolly. The cast and crew spent months preparing this incredible production and it was obvious that each person had individually been disciplined and passionate about their role. As my friend and I enjoyed the performance we experienced the emotional roller coaster ride of truly becoming part of the show with our laughter and tears. (Ok I had tears, he did not. I am a sucker for love stories.)
Since my thinker is always spinning its wheels and I am always contemplating how this relates back to the divine symphonic masterpiece of my God created journey, I thought about two things. First, we each play an independent role in God’s love story and second, we are all part of the Master Plan, the finished symphony, the grand finale of God’s creative genius. We won the cameo role in the theater of life. We sing the Cavatina in a seven part chorus on God’s stage.
Looking back at my life, I can truly say that I have always been on stage and the spot light pushed me harder. I am a fierce competitor and I have generally always excelled. I competed on a swim team beginning at age 4, taking four 3rd place ribbons at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. By the time I was eight, I was ranked 5th in 5 states in the AAU Swimming world. In Girl Scouts I sold the most cookies, selling 500 boxes and trading six for a puppy! In middle school I brought home the trophy for Best All Around Sports Competitor. In soccer the most goals, in the swim-a-thons the most laps, in OEA the fastest typist. Today, in the insurance business they call me tenacious, having been the top salesman in my agency for 27 years. But, the uncanny truth is that Susanne is weak, sinful, tired, overwhelmed and lonely. I am just a girl, wholly human, living out my tiny little role in God’s script, Holy ordered. God gave me the ability to excel. God wanted me to be a mighty competitor because He knew I would need to be ready for battle through adversity. He knew that I would join the Cavatina and fight for His Kingdom, He knew I would battle for my friends and family, He knew that I would minister to others and encourage them to join the Cavatina as well. It is not about Susanne, NONE of it.
Truth is God is the mastermind behind my ability. I just cannot explain it any other way. In the scientific world they would call it natural born talent. But, its just beyond that. It is divine intervention. God designed my heart and soul to do what it does regardless of me.
Example: My father sang in the Classical Chorale when I was a young girl, many times performing on the local television stations on Sunday mornings in Denver. I loved to listen and watch him sing, it mesmerized me. But, he personally never taught me how. I started singing in the choir in school in 5th grade. By the time I had hit my teens I was singing Acapella tunes and learning to harmonize. I joined an Acapella group at 14, with 3 young men. We called ourselves Forever Friends and we sang through Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma, even having the honor of being the opening act for Acapella in the 80’s. We even had our own jackets! But, did you know I have never learned how to read music? I still can’t. In insurance we teach those who are inexperienced with customers or sales that they should “Fake it til ya Make it!” But, in truth you cannot fake harmonic sound, it was a gift.
It is this way with many areas of my life, where the perception is different than the reality. I was reminded of my arrogant sinfulness just the other day when I was trying to memorize Romans 12:1-3. When I fell on verse 3 it states, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but, rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” A less known truth about me is that my mom called me a “woman of unfinished symphonies” because I would start something and then move on to something else without finishing the first. I still do. I have at least 10 books started on my bedside table. I have no idea how I graduated, but, I know my mother did ALL of my projects and many of my papers for me, even though I was capable. If it was an essay I wanted to write I could write my way through anything and never crack a book. I can procrastinate better than anyone I know and still get it done well. I know you can’t cheat at being fast, but, if there is an easy way out, Susanne will take it. At my best, I am completely imperfect and flawed.
So, the reality is God choreographs our life much like Lou Ann choreographed Hello Dolly, with a driven purpose and desire for us to reach perfection through relentless repeating, reevaluating and rehearsing to make our heavenly reality remarkable. Not by works my friends, remember no man should boast, but through His amazing grace. Have you ever heard the expression, “I am just wired that way!” I am, and quite frankly you are too. Wired by a intentional, creative, downright amazing God, who takes our little imperfect attempts to dazzle and turns them into a 7 part Cavatina that mesmerizes and draws people into His play from the audience of life. Even if you are all thumbs, like I am in the kitchen and the garden, He has a cameo set apart for you that no one else can play and He is calling you to the stage. No matter how insignificant we feel, no matter how menial our talents and abilities seem, no matter how imperfect and incapable we believe ourselves to be, God wrote us into the script intentionally and perfectly.
Dolly was imperfect and sinful and determined to do things her way, but, she had a talent for bringing people together in the most peculiar ways. God works that way, through our natural depraved nature we fail, through our natural born talents we thrive and God creates a redemptive song that whispers gracefully to others to sing a long.