As our dancers prepare for our first full-length contemporary ballet, we've been using our devotional times to talk about different sections of our story and how they relate to God's word. One piece that will be particularly difficult is "Transcendence" in which our main character, after suffering a loss, turns away from God and tries to find comfort from the empty promises the world offers. And while our story ultimately finds our main character coming out of her tragedy with a personal relationship with Jesus, we took some time as a group to talk about what it is like when we turn to the wrong things in hope of finding peace.
Have you ever experienced something so difficult, so terrible, or so devastating, that you question your beliefs? It's not an easy thing to experience or sometimes admit, but many of us will go through tragedies in our lifetimes that shake us so badly that we struggle with where to turn for comfort and peace. In this part of our story, the main character (name TBD) has suffered the loss of her father and while her mother and sister are clinging to their faith in God to bring them through, our main character can not understand how a loving God could allow something so awful to happen. Rather than place her trust in the Lord to deliver her through her pain.....she decides to run from Him and turn to the world for relief.
When I think of what it is like to turn away from God it's not a pretty picture to say the least. But a few things in particular kept resurfacing over and over again as I prayed about how we can convey this part of our story through our dancing. The first is selfishness. Our culture tells us constantly that "we" are enough. You can do anything. You should have anything you want. You should pay attention to the way you look. You are all that you need to be happy. When we are constantly focused on ourselves and our own desires, how easy it is to lose sight of the bigger picture our Heavenly Father has planned for us. We become jealous, spiteful, and sometimes willing to do whatever it takes to be the "best" or "first". We lose our compassion and sympathy for others and as we become more obsessed with serving ourselves we ultimately fall prey to loneliness, depression, and anger. It is so tiring trying to keep up with everything this world tells you is necessary or important. It's exhausting to constantly be worrying about 'things'...and that's all they really are right? "Things". And when you think about it, how terrible would it be if the only worth we could have for ourselves is how we appear in others eyes, who are just as broken and lonely as us.
The Bible says in Matthew to "enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many."
In Transcendence, we will be conveying what it is like to live without trusting and following our Creator. It's a dark and scary place to find yourself, but our story comes to a wonderful ending. The Lord says that in Him we can find peace. "In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart for I have overcome the world!" And that is our great joy as Christians:) It's an incredible victory for us! When we put our faith in Jesus as our Savior, who rescued us from our sin and the empty future this world offers, what an overwhelming relief to know that we can live our lives in confidence that our God is bigger than anything this world can throw at us. Even death.