I sat with sweaty palms pressed against my shaking knees, trying to steady them. My heart fluttered and my breath came quickly.
“Just breathe, Lauren,” I told myself.
I closed my eyes and breathed in….and out. In…..and out. Over and over until my heart and mind began to slow down. I opened my eyes to see everyone around me fidgeting, pacing, gesturing wildly. Most of the others were up and going through their audition pieces. I closed my eyes again and took a moment to think about what led me to this holding room in Chicago.
A dream to pursue a graduate degree in acting. I made it past the screening audition and moved on to the final round in front of a panel from over 30 programs. This was it. Months of preparing had led to this audition. I had done my audition package over and over again. Backwards and forwards.
I had warmed up and now there was the Waiting.
Eventually my group was called. We were herded down the hallway and one after another the performers in front of me disappeared. Finally it was just the Stage Manager and me staring at each other. I managed a small smile and breathed deeply as my number was called.
Bright lights welcomed me as I entered the Theatre. I walked in confidently and smiled as I took my mark center stage. I looked out at my auditors, took a deep breath, and began. “Good afternoon. My name is Lauren Allred.”
What followed for the next three minutes was glorious.
I can’t speak for the audience, of course, but as a performer it was the most alive I’ve ever felt onstage. I look back on those moments where it felt like everything on stage was falling perfectly into place. There was something invigorating and holy about each one.
I felt, for just a moment, a glimmer of what our Heavenly Father must feel when He creates.
You see, as a performer I have the opportunity to try my hand at creation. To breathe life into someone else’s story. To crawl into someone else’s skin and walk around for a while. To see life from someone else’s point of view. It’s an amazing and humbling gift. It’s an act of worship.
I create because I was created.
It’s the gift of creation that continues to amaze me. Maybe you’re not a performer and you have no idea what I’m talking about, but I know there is something you do, that when you do it, brings you closer to the heart of God, the ultimate Creator.
The words of John 1:3-5 say, “God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”
This gift is not one that I take lightly.
I believe we’re all called to use our gifts to shine His light and bring others to Him. If I neglect my gift, I’m not living my life fully for Him.
So what is it you do that brings you to that holy place? A place where you can lay your life before Him. Have you asked Him to use your broken, messy life to create something beautiful and bring Him glory? He uses everything and everyone, no matter the condition, to bring about His purpose.
I’m cracked and imperfect, but my life is richer when I lay it at His feet.
Let me be your vessel, Father. Pour through me and create what You will.
*Photo credit: JacobDyer1