Monday, July 9, 2012

Stages and Snakes (Don't believe the lies)

For me, there is nothing quite like the rush of getting on stage doing what I was meant to do. Whether performing comedy, ministering from the pulpit, doing corporate training or any of the other communicative functions I enjoy. Hours of writing and rewriting, rehearsing, studying, editing again, all to be ready for the moment. That one hour in front of an audience, creating opportunities for them to laugh or learn or to see life from a different perspective. An opportunity to express a thought, a principle or an emotion in a way that only I can.

I am sure it's like that for many people, regardless of the stage. Whether at home or office, in a conventional ministry or the mission field. Maybe it's in the boardroom or on the factory floor. A "normal" 9-5 job, or one of those crazy ones you see on TV where you chase down amphibians and reptiles to save 'em, sell 'em or eat 'em. Maybe you are part of the camera crew that has to keep up with that guy chasing gators and snakes around the swamp. Either way, you have a stage you were designed to take.

This past Saturday was the culmination of weeks worth of work. I was ready with some of the best material I had written in a while. I had tweaked my existing set, reworked whole bits, and refocused my entire attitude. I was psyched! SummerFest 2012 was here and I have been hyping it all across Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, and on my own Website. This show was destined to be killer. Or not. I don't buy into the whole global warming thing, but this heat will remind you that Hell is no joke. That's right, SummerFest, including my performance, destroyed by heat.

Under those circumstances it was completely logical that my show would be cancelled. But do you know what it's like to get all jazzed up, ready to take the stage, only to have the wind knocked out of your sails? For me, the timing was lousy. I was already having doubts about the course I was on with my career. I was really counting on that proverbial wind to help keep me cool while performing.

Have you heard the same whispers? "Failure." "Impossible." "Not bloody likely." That little voice in your head telling you that this isn't what you are supposed to be doing with your life. "Surely God isn't going to bless this."

Those words sounded vaguely familiar. I looked and there they were, in the book of Genesis in my good old King James. God had told Adam and Eve to not eat from a particular tree or they would die. The serpent challenged them with these words: "Surely you won't die". You want to know how I read that? "God is a liar." The act of eating from the tree was Adam and Eve's agreement with that dirty old snake.

I know I am wired a bit differently than others. Some would argue that I was wired from a different diagram altogether, and maybe He had it upside down on His workbench during my assembly. But I know I was created for a purpose and that includes taking the stage. No matter which hat I am wearing; comedian, speaker, trainer, writer, minister, husband, father, papaw, whatever, I am uniquely called to fill this role, leaving my audience better off than when I found it.

I refuse to act in concert with that voice telling me that my God is a liar. I refuse to believe that my purpose is anything less than spectacular or that my particular giftings and talents are going to go unused, for the benefit of nobody. I will move forward. I will act in accordance to the promise He has placed in me. I will leave everything within me out on the stage. Snake, I will not deny my God-given purpose.

You, dear reader, were also designed for a purpose. A good purpose. You owe it to yourself, to your sphere of influence, and the world, to find it and to fight for the fulfillment of it. Do not allow discouragers and obstructionists, or that snake within, to convince you to settle for anything less than the best God has to offer you. Be the YOU you were created to be.

Do you know your purpose? Are you walking in it? Has this encouraged you to get back to it? I hope so. Let me know.

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