"Thou seest we are not alone unhappy,
  This wide and universal theater
  Presents more woeful pageants than the scene
  Wherein we play in"

~Shakespeare
AS YOU LIKE IT, Act II Scene VII
         Yesterday afternoon I got upset for the dumbest reason imaginable.  Let me set the scene: I was sitting in a folding chair beneath a white tent that opens up to the stage at the outdoor site for the Michigan Shakespeare Festival at Ella Sharp Park in Jackson, Mi. I was dressed in a hot-pink poodle skirt adorned with white polka-dots and lime-green rickrack (there were two layers of petticoats underneath), and a pink and green plaid short-sleeved shirt with hot pink buttons and a frilly white collar, enhanced with hot-pink rickrack.  On my feet were shiny black patent leather shoes (that reflect up) and on my face were pointy pink heart-shaped lips, rosy cheeks, and glasses that resemble the girl's style in Welcome to the Doll House. Behind me sat the Artistic Director for the festival who is also the head of the BFA Theater Performance back at UM.  I was at the dress rehearsal for The Comedy of Errors, surrounded by some of the most professional and delightful actors I've ever had the pleasure of working with, and two amazing directors to top the experience off. I turned around to face the Artistic Director Almighty, you know, to have a little chat with him.  "Do you have any ideas for next years season?" my voice slipped out. Oops. As he answered me in his alluring British accent, I'm sure, even with the immense amount of pink blush on my cheeks, my face went white. I won't tell you what he said, because I think it was kind of confidential, but I'll just say that both plays contain roles that I would give my left pinky toe to play. So, here I am in Jackson, spoiled out of my mind by the blessing of the experience, and all I can do is think about my burning desire to have something that is way out of my reach.  I reminded myself that God is in control, and He will provide me with what I need, but I still feel that twinge of lusty nausea deep in my stomach. I forgot my blessings completely.

        God forgive me for my selfishness and my tendency to forget my blessings. I've had this disease all of my life.  I remember how often I'd get mad at my mom when I lived at home, though I don't remember the reason I was mad at her. For her to say "no" was the end of the world.  How ashamed I am that I would ever take her for granted, she that would type for hours each day on her computer for her transcription business so that she could pay for my 4 dance lessons, voice lessons, and not to mention the thousands of dollars in gas she spent to transport me to my lessons, rehearsal, and school every week. I am so spoiled.

        The sickness in ignoring the work that my mother put into my life (and still puts into my life) is a pretty good illustration in how sick it is we ignore the work that our Lord put into our lives. How often we do that, too!   The Shakespeare quote above tells us of a pretty good reason to be in constant thankfulness, even when we reach those points in our lives where our mind runs blank at the attempt to think of the current good he have received by God. Usually all I need to do is recreate in my mind a photograph I once saw in a magazine-- a neglected orphanage in Russia that served as a dumping ground for children with deformities and diseases. The thought that there are children in this world who were abandoned by their family because they have one arm or leg or a strange-looking face is about as painful of an image as I can think of. What else could I ever desire for myself after seeing that "woeful pageant?"
          I am not saying that we should be like the Pharisee who said "I thank God that I am not like
him."  In this life we are bound to encounter people that look like they have less than we do as well as folks that seem to have more than we do, even if they have never seen the light. We must keep our eyes forward as we march toward God ahead of us, and at the same time be thankful for the scene that God has us "playing" in. : )  Let us see that every breath is another moment wherein we have the opportunity to live for Him.

"Therefore, since we have received the kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe."
Hebrews 12:28
back
July 17, 2001
Hosted by www.Geocities.ws

1