Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Things That Last

Five performances in three days...we're all exhausted, but in a happy way. We have five days off before the final two shows on Friday and Saturday, and since auditions for the next show, Tom Sawyer, are less than two weeks away, we've got to get busy working on those. Ah, the joys of theater!

I've hardly been home for the past week, it seems, so the housework has piled up and I've got to dig out this week, while keeping up the normal schedule of homeschooling, piano lessons, debate and several church commitments. Papa Rooster will be at a conference in Las Vegas all week, and my parents are coming on Thursday, for a visit and to see the show, of course! So we'll see if I can squeeze in any blogging. (I've been managing to read other blogs while I nurse Bitty Bantam, but haven't had time for leaving comments.)

I've been pondering I Corinthians 3:11-15, which the kids and I read one morning last week.

10According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw-- 13each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

When the kids and I read this, we discussed spending our lives on things that will last. I gave the example of a life invested in raising children, in homeschooling them, or in introducing others to Jesus Christ and discipling them, vs. a life spent pursuing fame or material gain. We can hope to bring our family and friends to heaven with us, but everything else will be left behind, consumed by fire, in the end.

This week I've been thinking about theater in this light. We're spending hours and hours on something that will not last. Next Saturday, after the final curtain closes (and the kids all scream for about five solid minutes!), the show will be over, never to be repeated again in quite the same way. Are the hours spent in the car, shopping for shoes, practicing dances, and making up faces worth it?

What lasts, I'm realizing, is the education they've received, the skills learned, the confidence gained, the acceptance and encouragement freely given, the love and sacrifice of the directors and parents, the character modelled and applauded. I'm not saying all theater programs are like this--I hear they're not, in fact--but this one makes Christian values the primary part of their identity. The kids see the adults constantly asking for God to be glorified through the show, through their teamwork and love for one another and their audience. Modesty and respect for others is expected, and even more coveted than the director's awards for Best Actor and Best Actress is that for Most Christlike, voted on by the kids.

So all those hours, though it sorta sounds like craziness (okay, it IS craziness), I think are lasting building materials. They're a lot like the hours spent doing laundry, changing diapers, wiping noses, cooking meals, vacuuming, explaining long division and reading The Runaway Bunny for the fifty-ninth time. Sometimes it feels like building straw by straw, but I believe that in the end, we will find that those straws are made of spun gold.


sparrow said...

I think the production sounds like so much fun, and you're right those kids will take away some fabulous memories and lessons.

I have been meditating on those same principles lately. Especially when we meet up with old public school friends who are worried for us that by homeschooling we won't get the right credentials to make our kids successful in life.

And then I look at my healthy, solid, growing and spiritually maturing kids and think, "none of that matters." Being disciples, being good husbands and wives, being good citizens...those things matter...not money and career and fame.

Hope your week is fun and not too exhausting! :)

Circle of Quiet said...

You'll be in my prayers this week, as you keep moving forward while trying to bring along the piles left from last week. It is a great picture of our lives as mothers and teachers.

Thanks for your words on what lasts. You've given me some good things to chew over as the day gets going.

Warm wishes,

HolyMama! said...

Oh, you're so right! And what else will last...? the memories and the friends made and the pictures!