For roughly 25 years, I've been basing my life on the hopes of one simple thing: a pop-up talent show. Is that too much to ask?
It's the kind of thing that maybe every little kid who is good at something dreams of. And maybe not. I've never claimed to be every little kid. But I started piano lessons at the age of 3 and dreamt of being fabulous. When someone happened to notice that I was getting there, I threw everything into practicing, my every thought thinking of that one day - that unknown day - when I would be walking through the mall and find an impromptu competition in which to show off my skills.
It was always the mall and I was always sure this was an actual possibility.
It never happened.
In fact, the very small handful of talent shows that I have found in unexpected places had such pesky things as rules and registrations, and I was never on the list. I was a nobody. And I found every minute of it absolutely agonizing.
There are still days I think about such things. Days when I'm walking the mall and I can't help but laugh to myself about how much of my energies I'd invested in a day that never came. Of course, I always stop by Von Maur and have tickled the ivories there a few times, much to the delight of the older woman they actually pay to do that. (It's not a fantastic piano; it has fewer than 88 keys, which makes much of me repertoire difficult.) I've given up, though, on the pop-up talent show. In the age of YouTube, it's less likely than ever before.
But I'm still basing much of my life on similar hopes.
Oh, they're different now. I won't be the next Liberace (though secretly, I was more of a Victor Borge girl - the little bit of humor thrown in). So it's not so much the piano, necessarily, or even music, much to the dismay of a few people I know. (Mrs. S. - don't you worry. I'm still dabbling and working on a song to release with my next book. I may petition my good friend and awesome worship artist Terry Waggoner to input on that one.) Today, though, it's more the things God has created me to do in this season of my life. The writing. The speaking. The ministering. The loving.
I'm throwing my energies behind being ready for that moment. And I've decided that, Lord-willing, may it be blessed to not even be my moment. Let it be His.
My mind and my heart are constantly swarming in this beautiful anticipation. I'm planning how I want to love. Practicing how I want to serve. Thinking on what I want to say. Learning to live and capture a moment that doesn't matter any more if it's center stage or backstage or so far removed that I can't even see the stage.
My days are consumed by contemplating that chance. That moment. That opportunity that is going to come in which I get maybe just one split second to be love for somebody. One chance to show them something greater than myself (which at one point, I might have told you was super great, but most days these days, I'm content to be something much greater than great - that is, to be simply as He's created me, which is special in its own way but hardly anything special at all). One chance to plant a seed. One chance to shine a light. One chance to hold a hand and steady a heart and point the way to a Man much greater than I'll ever be. One moment to be all that He's created me to be. To be love.
I'm looking forward to that. That's why I'm spending my life readying myself. I think I have to. I think we all have to.
Peter says we must be ready to give a defense and explain why we believe what we believe about Christ. I think it's much simpler than that. I think we must be ready to live Christ. Because if we're not living Him, it doesn't matter what we would say about Him. Nobody will be asking.
Prepare yourself, then, to live Christ. Prepare your heart to love. And always be ready because the chance will come, the opportunity will pop-up. Unlike that talent show that never stopped at my mall, we will each have our moment. Will we be ready?