Words of Hope: Do the Difficult
I had another dream of Dad. I saw him walking with mom into the door of the church where we hold the NBC musical theatre camp. I yelled out when I saw him and startled myself and Shann awake. Seeing him so vividly in my dream felt such joy and immediate sorrow. I knew instantly what the dream was saying to me. I had been wrestling with theatre camp. I had to move the dates; it was right after the fourth in the middle of the long NBC summer, my youngest and middle daughters are in shows, and the pace of life is intense. The car is messy. There are very early mornings and late nights. Dad walking through the door of the theatre reminded me to embrace and enjoy doing what is hard. Camp is hard because it requires the deepest commitment to love.
Love costs all we are. Teaching well demands our very best. It demands us to look at each student with tremendous compassion, hope, and delight, seeing each child like a son or daughter worthy of my time and attention.
Each year during the final camp performance, there are tears of joy. To see a student who could not sing out at all on the first-day sing with power, to see kids who never danced having a blast, is so much fun. One girl last year was so nervous and shy that we had to work over and over to get her to sing out. Natalya, my oldest, worked with her every week teaching private voice. This year, this shy, unconfident young lady got up and belted out, “Don’t Rain on My Parade.” She is now planning to pursue musical theatre in college.
Dad told me this quote, “If an act is not an act of work or courage, it is not an act of love.” Dad, in my dream walking through the door, was a gift to say this is where life with God is. Yes, life is fun at the lake, yes, life is fun when it is easy, but life is best lived serving others. Keep going, keep doing what is difficult.
Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord [always doing your best and doing more than is needed], being continually aware that your labor [even to the point of exhaustion] in the Lord is not futile nor wasted [it is never without purpose]. – I Corinthians 15:58