Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Behind the Curtain

   I was just watching a video of a pop singer.  She was performing in concert, and dressed in a bright, shiny jumpsuit.  Her dark, black hair shimmered in the spotlight.  And when she began to sing, the audience suddenly became silent in anticipation.   The time had finally come.  All of her fans delighted in her performance.

  As I listened and watched this, my mind thought of what that star must have gone through to get herself ready for that moment.  Hours of practice.  More hours with wardrobe and makeup.  All for a few moments in the spotlight.  And then what ?

Fans Can Be a Fantasy
  Most of us probably don't have moments in the spotlight, performing before adoring fans. But we do have times of performance, where we have to be at our best.  And our peers and onlookers are not always so forgiving and adulating as a successful pop singer.  We have the pressure of being at our best, and looking our best.  And with that pressure comes stress and anxiety.

  When that star comes off of the stage, there are down times, when there are no fans seeking autographs or longing to hear them sing.  There are lonely times, and other times with friends and family.  Some of those friends, no doubt, are friendly because of what they can get out of being close to someone who is rich and famous.

   It is a rare occasion when one finds someone who is there, loving and accepting us, not because of what we can give back to them, but only because of who they are.  God is like that.  The Bible tells us that the definition of Love is that "God gave."   It is not so much in the moments that I feel 'religious' and close to God, but in those times of deep loneliness and despondency, that I need to know this reality.  He is my best friend.  He is as close to me as my heart. His presence is as necessary as the air that I breathe.

   When the lights go down, the curtain closes, and we retreat off stage to our private lives, it is important that we have someone there to remind us that our worth is not in our performance, but in our essence.  A good friend gives a hug or says a kind word, not for selfish gain, but to encourage.  God has accepted you in his Son, and made you his child. If you are in Christ, you have God's love.

This is Love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son.
[I John 4:10]

   Don't let yourself get in the habit of feeling great when you are congratulated and adored for your good performances, and feeling sad whenever you are without that applause.  When you go behind the curtain, you are still the same person that you were on the other side.  If you understand that, you will seek God's approval and love, and begin to bask and live in it every day of your life.

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