A Theatrical Experience
What will you cling to if or when your kids take the uncommon path?
I love musicals, plays, and yes even opera.
Because at its essence it is a story. A story being acted out or sung at the top of some robust soprano’s voice.
Theatre is like the original 3D experience, maybe even 4-D if you include the tight rows with seats at your knees. (I’m all legs)
But there is something regal to Theatre, and almost a history that you get to be a part of when you watch a musical, play, ballet, or opera.
While I love plays and musicals, I never had the confidence to be in any school productions. But I knew that I wanted to grow an appreciation for beauty in my boys, which means going to the Theatre is something we do from time to time. But in the last year theatre has come to the forefront of the family schedule.
We have a kid in the theatre.
In our school district, 5th and 6th grade are in one school, and then 7th and 8th are in another school. There are pluses and minuses to this system. But one that I love is that kids test out all the electives in 5th before choosing an elective in 6th.
When it came time to choose in 6th grade, my son chose Band. My little band nerd heart beamed. So our son played Trombone for his 6th-grade year. But when it was time to schedule for his 7th-grade year, he said he wanted to do theatre.
My heart dropped a little.
Truthfully, I had some deep-rooted fears about him making this choice.
I think we can all agree that there is quite an eclectic crew in the theater world. And I am a ‘don’t rock the boat’ personality, and I have seen friends influenced by the theatre community in negative ways.
I tried to make a case to stick with the band. But truthfully, I wanted him to choose band because it was something I knew and understood. For me, it felt like a safe choice. Yes, I know this thought process was a little nutty because every possible click in the school environment has positive and negative influences.
If you knew my son, you’d say he’s made for the stage. His grandparents have said this for years, and even the parents of my son’s good friends want his autograph now for when he becomes famous.
Which is all sweet and true of his personality. But the part of my momma’s heart that wants to protect and preserve my kid’s heart was really worried about this choice.
But God was faithful to remind me of three things.
My son has a strong conviction and love of the Lord
God reminded me of how he made my son. God made him strong-willed, stubborn, and determined (no my eye isn’t twitching…) These qualities can be like sandpaper to me, but they have shaped him into a young man who has a strong conviction in his faith. He was telling people the gospel at eight years old with full confidence. Which still blows my mind sometimes. This is a kid that won’t be easily swayed by the ways of the world. Praise God.
God has plans for my kid that he will accomplish with or without me.
I hate to say it, but I’m not in control. The control freak planner in me wants to map it all out like I’ve done with vacations for the next ten years (I have a spreadsheet and everything) But I have very little say in what happens in my kids’ lives. Granted I do have a big part in shaping the kinds of kids that come out of my house and the food that they won’t eat on the table.
But God does have a plan. He knows every heartbeat, every hair, and every thought my children have. And He knows where they need to go to become men who go after the heart of God. I don’t. So, I have to trust in his plans. I have to hold my children with open hands and allow God to move them on the paths that will lead them to the work God has prepared in advance for them to do (Ephesians 2:10)
It’s not easy. It is a choice I have to make daily. Some days I’m good and others not so good. Thankfully God is forgiving and gracious.
God wants to protect and preserve my kid’s heart also.
Not so surprisingly, God and I have a similar goal. We want my kids to know, love, and live for God in all they do. God and I are not on opposing teams trying to coerce my kids to one side or the other. I may not like the direction he chooses to take my kids at times, but God’s ways are always the best. I know that sounds a little cliché and trite, but sometimes we have to repeat the simple truths to ourselves to remember the greater truth that God is working on my kids’ hearts. I get to be a part of it, but his plan will always be the best.
Our kids and their choices often put us in a faith crucible. God makes us love them so big to show us how big his love is for us. And because of his love, he will use everything around us to sharpen and grow our faith. To grow us into a deeper more abiding relationship with him. And he will even use your kid’s choice of electives if he has to hammer in a certain point.
Remember even as you are teaching and shepherding your kids in their faith, God is doing the same with you. We just have to be willing to listen to his voice and follow with our whole hearts.
What will you cling to if or when your kids take the uncommon path? Will you cling to the path you desire, or will you trust God is working in you and your child?
I encourage you to explore the theatre in your community. It’s a way to encourage the love of a good story and grow a supple heart toward people and experiences.