About six months ago my (then) six-year-old and my four-year-old performed at a recital for the local YMCA ballet. We have been to this recital before, but this is the first time my children took part in it. The event takes place in the historic Pantages Theater in downtown Tacoma and features two hours of dancers of all ages and skills. Some of the older kids have some impressive dances and you can tell they have worked hard. Yet the highlight of the dance are the young kids that come out on stage, can never seem to find their proper starting place, and have a teacher off to the side that they watch in order to know what steps to take next. There is always at least one kid that spots their parents somewhere in the huge theater and instead of doing the dance waves at their folks through the entire show. Usually, there is another child that has decided the pre-rehearsed dance is not nearly as good as something they can make up on the spot. The crowd laughs and claps as the kids in their overly cute costumes struggle through their performance.
Fast forward to last week.
We received a call from my sister-in-law. They had spent quite a bit of money to purchase a box for their family at the Seattle Ballet’s performance of the Nut Cracker. Unfortunately, they had gotten food poisoning and were not going to make the show. They wanted to know if we would like their tickets. The performance was like nothing I had ever seen. The sets were huge and professionally done. The full orchestra that played in the pit were some of the best in the Pacific Northwest, and the dancers were so good they wrapped us in the story and made us forget how difficult each action was. At one point in the second act, I sat back and watch about ten dancers all perform the same moves in perfect unison. The precision from each dancer was executed to perfection. I began to think of the dedication each one of these dancers has to perform on that stage. The hours of practice, the intense lessons and auditions the diets the stretching, and the list goes on. “What incredible dedication this has taken.” I thought.
After the performance
I considered the differences between the two ballets. What would I be willing to put that much dedication into? I have played the cello since I was six, but I never was dedicated like that. All of a sudden it hit me. As believers, we should all have that level of dedication for the Lord.
In the past several years I have had a handful of believers say things to me like, “you are so blessed to work in ministry full time. I would love to be in the Word all day long.” The truth is my job in ministry is about 1% study. My job consists of marketing, web design, customer service and so on. Basically, I work an office job for a ministry. I love my job, but it’s not what people think it is. My bible reading, prayer time, and overall study are done on my own time. And it’s really difficult to find time for those kinds of things, especially with three young children in the house.
Our Dedication to Christ
As believers, we have given our lives to Christ. We have said that our life is not our own, but that we belong to our Savior. We have signed up for intense dedication. Is this how we are treating our faith? Are we making time to be in the Word? Are we putting in the time, making the sacrifices necessary to grow in prayer and study? Or are we making excuses and lessening the importance of our dedication?
Are we the children that have decided to do our own dance, get distracted by the crowd and make God just another thing we do in our lives? Or are we fully dedicated in ways that produce perfection within our faith? Do we demand nothing but complete and total precision in our study and prayer? Do we wake early and go to sleep late in order to put in the time needed to grow our faith?
As the new year has come many of us have made new years resolutions. I want my resolutions to push me to perfection in study and dedication to a faith that is beyond my dreams. To grow and push me in study, prayer, and my relationship with the Lord. I want to be wholly dedicated to the service of Jesus.
Cover Photo by Beto Franklin