Thursday, March 1, 2012
Audience of One ~(Part One)~
I initially wrote this on January 20, 2012 but never found the time to type it up as a blog entry. Something happened last night at our mid-week Lenten service, however, that directly related to this very topic and brought the whole thing once again toppling down upon my shoulders. I knew I had come across this topic before and so I looked back in an old journal and found this essay. I type it now in hopes of better explaining what happened last night. I will publish this entry alone and then write a "part two," if you will, explaining how the very same topic visited (haunted) me last night.
Thank you for grace.
I was a dancer as a child. I was a singer, too. And an actress as I entered my teenage years. I quickly learned, at an early age, the instant gratification of performance.
At summer camp between ages 7-12, I was in every talent show. I remember being 9 years old and people humorously calling it "the Lisa Brodsky Show."
I played a flute solo. I sang a song, I danced a solo, I read a poem, I joined a dance ensemble.
I loved performing. I loved entertaining friends and family and, I admit, I loved the flowers and praise I'd get after every performance.
Particularly in high school when I got leads in plays such as "You Can't Take It With You" and many others, I fell in love with performing. People said I had "the acting bug."
Ironically, college theatre brought disappointment and disenchantment. I continued to perform in years to come, though, this time featuring in open mic's reading my poetry - my other love and talent besides acting.
My tumultuous 20s were peppered with many literary successes - both in performance and in the literary world, all of which garnered me praise from everyone around me.
Yet I did not feel fulfilled. I was still searching for that all-elusive, all-encompassing approval.
What I've learned about who I need to please, who I "perform for," since becoming a Christian has been a gigantic milestone in my life. I suddenly realized why theatre and I stepped away from each other: not because I was bad or wrong, but I did seek the wrong audience to give me an identity.
Those strangers in the seats couldn't tell me who I was. Even friends and family who attended every performance did not have the power to tell me who I was. Since I decided to follow Christ's ways, I've felt a distinct push away from the performing arena. Now when I try to go to an open mic, I don't feel that same drive to perform.
For a while, I walked around a little lost, blind, and confused. Why had something I loved stopped fulfilling me? I continued to read my Bible, my Christian living books, listen to my radio programs. The more I read, the more I realized that for all these years, I had it all wrong! I sought fame and attention. I thrived on the praise of others so much that I became an addict.
An addict of praise which drove my head down instead of pointing my eyes up.
I now know that I have only One that I need to please, perform for, answer to.
God is my Audience of One. And when I do things that please Him, the blessings I receive are far greater, far more fulfilling than any flower bouquet I could ever get after a show.