Life's Like A Talent Show
Shalia waited anxiously behind the drawn curtains. Her palms were sweating, throat dry and heart racing. Fear gripped her like never before. I can't do it, She thought to herself. Shalia glanced to the side of the stage wanting desperately to run, but her legs wouldn't respond to her mind's call.
She could hear a young man's voice mumbling beyond the curtain. The only words she could make out were her name and the announcement she would be "singing". Her racing heart skipped a beat as she let out a gasp. It was time. She was next on stage.
The curtain opened to a smattering of applause, spotlights shown in her eyes and music began. Shalia had sung this song confidently in her bedroom a thousand times before, but suddenly that confidence had escaped her. She opened her lips, and forced the first few lines free from her raspy throat.
Shalia was horrified.
Last night, I found myself sitting in my oldest daughter's middle school auditarium (part cafeteria-part auditorium) to watch her first foray in a "Talent Show". It was a proud moment, of which I am able to say she has given me and my wife many, yet the experience handed me an insight while watching the nearly twenty students performing to a wide degree of "success" that I had never thought of before...Life's like a talent show.
The performances were what is to be expected from a young group of middle schoolers; awkward, sometimes uncomfortable, and altogether courageous. It is the epitome of the everyday battles we fight while growing up in the world. Learning everything from walking to talking to school and love. It is what makes our children so vulnerable and resilient at the same time.
Performers entered the stage, jittery and shaking both with anticipation and fear. Their nerves pushing them into places they had probably not been before in their young lives, yet I found myself oddly envious of them...these young boys and girls pushed through their reservations (each one of them) and performed! Some danced or sang, played music or tested their comedic timing, but everyone of them succeed in finding something tonight on that stage that I could never have found at their age...their courage! A future potential to push through their fear and grasp control of their lives.
Before the talent show, my daughter had told me that one of the singer's had struggled through her performance in front of the entire school in the morning. That same young girl stood on stage tonight, obviously still fighting her fear and the memories from earlier that day, but found a way to deliver.
After the show, which my daughter rocked by the way as she performed her own choreographed dance routine to a recording of her own poem played over the loudspeaker, I told my wife about my somewhat ridiculous determination that life's like a talent show. Watching these kids walk out on stage, barely able to contain their fear, looking like they wanted the stage to open up and shallow them whole before anyone started laughing at them was heart-wrenching. Yet, each and everyone of them continued on, gaining confidence with each passing moment. Singers voice's steadied. Their bravado strengthened. Swaggers returned. At the end, I would dare say that each one of those kids would have done their performance again...that very instant. And it would have been even better.
Life's like a talent show. Take your first day at a new job for example. We can all relate to the nervousness that overwhelms us that moment you walk through the door. Then, time moves on and you become more comfortable with your duties and responsibilities, soon that fear is removed and your signing like you never thought you could...well maybe not signing, but writing, coaching, leading...whatever it may be that you do.
We even find it in the characters we fall in love with. My
youngest daughter loves Phillip Harper from the story Land of Mistasia.He is an uncomfortable teenager who has just entered high school and falls for his best friend's twin sister, Rachel. Phillip finds himself thrust into a situation where he has to find his courage in order to save her from an evil king in the Land of Mistasia. Phillip discovers things he never knew were within himself and finds a way to challenge what he has always felt were his weaknesses.
|Land of Mistasia|
That is exactly what these kids did tonight!
Life's definitely like a talent show, but unless you stand up tall on the stage of life and bare yourself to the world you'll never know how far you can go.
Christopher M. Purrett