I had the wonderful opportunity last weekend to participate in the Alumni dance for my "home" dance company. Every year before the annual concert, the company offers an opportunity for the alumni of the company to return to learn a piece for the show. This year I was able to return to participate!
I must preface this whole thing by saying that I have not danced in over two years. I had a lot of fears going into the first rehearsal...
It was like riding a bike - you never really "forget" how to dance.
Only this time I got on "the bike" my body had not been well stretched in a while and I was h-u-r-t-i-n-g thr next day. I felt as though the soreness was like"battle wounds" that I absolutely loved having as evidence of my hard work.
The weekend after our rehearsal we performed the dance in two night shows. The first night was such a rush because my husband got to see me do the thing that makes me come alive. He got to see me doing the thing that I love so much! I enjoyed sharing that with him. I must say, however, that the combination of nerves of being on stage for the first time in forever as well as the fact that I was not sure I'd completely remember the dance made for (in my mind) an average performance.
I went home, went to work the next morning - back to my "adult life". Then I got the opportunity to return for the second show. As I was applying the usual stage makeup (so dancers, you know this was over a period of about 30 minutes), I had time to think about the fact that this was probably the last opportunity I'd have to dance. My body is getting older. I don't practice dance often.. well, ever. It is just not a part of my life anymore. I started to get a fire inside of me.
I thought of how before competitions and shows we used to always say to each other, "Dance like this is the last time you'll ever be able to dance in your life!" - This was now a reality. It may sound cliche and silly, but I felt like that reality was now my mission at this last performance. It was my last time.
I laid it all out on the stage. Even though I normally got tired throughout the course of the piece, this time I didn't feel it. I pushed harder, lept higher, moved bigger, and enjoyed every minute of it. Why does it take us getting to our last opportunity to realize what we have the opportunity to do? Because it's hard! Keeping up the stamina to dance as though you'll never do it again is hard.
You're going to get what you give in this case. Now, we all know it doesn't always work out perfectly because we live in a fallen world, but if you put a little extra time into talking with a friend, you're going to get the joy of having invested in a person who is now invested in you. If you put extra time into working on something difficult, you'll feel the accomplishment of completing a challenge. I can't think of all of the examples of what this could look like if applied to all areas of life, but I did find the Truth about the whole situation this morning:
"Remeber this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." - 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
I certainly made the decision to give what I had cheerfully, even if that was in the form of sharing my talent (for what it's worth) in a performance. I gave it all. The verse stands true in my case because God blessed me abundantly.