Don’t you just love it when normal, everyday life-events preach to you? Sometimes, they have a greater impact then some of the best sermons ever spoken. Well, I had one of those moments just the other night when I was given the opportunity to sit and observe my daughter’s ballet class. Typically, I catch a few minutes of her class every once in a while if I arrive early to pick her up. And of course, I get to attend the performances that her school puts on. I have continually been impressed with the quality and skill level demonstrated, but, up until this past Monday, I truly didn’t understand why.
The benefit of parent observation week is that parents are invited to watch a normal class just as the students typically take it. I was completely blown away at what I saw. The class begins at the ballet barre, where dancers run through numerous exercises, and I mean numerous, that help the dancers build strength and learn correct body placement. These drills help a dancer with her footwork, jumps, flexibility, and balance.
I expected all of this, but did not understand that the dancers stayed at the barre for an hour and ten minutes – that’s right 70 minutes before they actually started to dance in the center of the studio. During this time at the barre, the dancers undergo grueling, repetitive drills one after the next. And if that isn’t difficult enough, this type of training happens five to six times a week.
Sitting there, watching this great discipline and drive, really spoke to my heart. Before a dancer is ready for the spotlight, she must train vigorously. It is not just about the moments on stage. In fact, that is just a small fraction of the dancing she does. She must be committed and make sacrifices to achieve a level of excellence.
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. – John 14:12
I see such a parallel to our lives as Christians. Often, we are so eager to do great things for God that we forget about the work that must go into getting there. At times, reading the Bible and studying His word may seem monotonous. Prayer time may seem routine, but we, like those dancers, are building muscle memory. We are preparing ourselves for the moments in the future where God calls us into the spotlight. But, will we be ready?
In Mark chapter 9, we see the disciples trying to cast a demon out of little boy. They had seen Jesus do it numerous times. But, they were unable to. They weren’t ready. Their faith wasn’t ready.
After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer. – Mark 9:28-29
Ladies, if you want do great things for God, you have to put the time in. Spending time with God by reading His word and through prayer will strengthen your faith. Nothing can replace this. It will renew your mind and make you more like Christ.
Just like my daughter’s dance teacher, God isn’t going to give you a role that you are not ready for. He doesn’t want you to get burned by the heat of the spotlight. If you truly want to do great things for God, you must first put your time in at the barre!