Saturday, January 5, 2013

Unexpected Results

When I was in junior high, I was anything but popular.  I regularly found myself pushed into walls, slammed against lockers, punched, kicked, thoroughly insulted and the like.  In seventh grade the music teacher decided to stage Disney's Beauty and the Beast, my least favorite Disney flick at the time, and my best friend blackmailed me into auditioning for the main role of Belle.  I desperately wanted to avoid this whole production and merely hum in the choir.  Life was difficult enough as it was.  But the instant the teacher heard me sing it was over.  I was crowned Belle almost immediately and she kicked my little rear up on stage to begin rehearsals. 

Life took a toll for the worse.  Many of the other students dislike the idea of someone so unpopular carrying the title roll.  No boy would play beast across from me, so a girl had to take on that role.  I remember pleading with the teacher to release me from the spot to no avail.  Other students cornered me and threatened to break my legs if I didn't explain how I got that role.  I began to sing and immediately the crowd softened a little and began to disperse.  I spent my time trying to keep a low profile in spite of the pedestal upon which I found myself raised.  Then the big night came. And the nightmare intensified.

The tech who was in charge of testing the microphones apparently missed checking mine.  I found it not working whilst on stage and right before I began singing the opening number.  I informed the instructor who told me to stand behind the choir microphones, where I had never practiced before and project, which I also had never been taught to do before.  I obeyed and before the first half of the song was over, tripped on a wire and sent a narrator stand toppling, sending papers flying across the stage.  I kept going, finished the scene, and exited at the appropriate time and silently burst into tears.  The actress playing Beast told me to stop because the mascara would run.  Somehow I plastered a smile to my face and stepped back onstage to finish the night.  I was so thankful when finally the whole thing was over.  True to my training I waited behind the curtain while the minor characters took their bows.  I was the last and when I stepped back onstage something happened that I never in a million years had expected.  The roar of the audience rose to a deafening pitch.  I remember wondering for a moment why they were clapping until reality broke upon me.  Never once during all this misery had I once remembered or considered that there might be some appreciation involved.  I had only been trying to do what I was chosen and expected to do.

My friends, I know that sometimes when we walk through life we think that it is just a constant battle against naysayers, trials, unexpected trouble and the like.  But remember that in the end, when all is said and done and the frustrations of this world is over, there will be for those who did the best they could, an overwhelming ovation.  In the end, those who do the best they can to fulfill their responsibilities no matter the opposition will find themselves swept away by the glorious applause of heaven.

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