In July I had the pleasure of exploring New York City. Having documented my newfound love affair on this blog at least a few times, I will not bore you with how much this city woos me each time I visit.
On this trip I experienced a lot of firsts. First time going out into the city solo. First time navigating all alone. First time making my own plans. And my first time seeing a Broadway show.
On a sweltering July Tuesday in New York City I found myself dripping with sweat not sure what to do with my afternoon and evening as my sister had meetings to attend. I went back to the hotel to get out of the oppressive heat I walked ten miles in and regroup. I narrowed my choices to two things. One, go stand in line and see if I could see a taping of The Daily Show. Or two, see if I could make a Broadway show.
I sat on the bed in our very small room and lamented just long enough that option one no longer existed. Time management is not always my strength. So I was left with finding a show to go see.
I enjoy theater, but it is not something I usually attend in my everyday life. With Hamilton out as an option, I scrolled through the TKTS website to find a cheap option, y’all I teach so a bargain is a bargain. I watched the minutes on the clock tick away at an alarmingly rapid rate.
One hour to showtime and I did not know what show I might see, I had not purchased a ticket, and I was not dressed. I decided on a the show Waitress because a friend had recommended it and it was one of the few shows that still had tickets.
When I pictured going to see a Broadway show, I always pictured a leisurely stroll through the Theater District with my mom and sister wearing a fancy outfit. We would laugh as if we were in a stock photo as we waited for the show to begin. After the show we would go find a small restaurant and eat a late dinner with locals.
What I found myself doing; throwing on a v-neck and rough jeans, wearing no makeup with wet hair and running through Times Square (my least favorite place on earth) to purchase a ticket for one.
As I stood in line to buy my very last minute ticket, I wondered if I somehow ruined my own picture perfect experience. Then I realized, sometimes in life you just have to go. We want these picture perfect experiences in life, but that is not real life.
For my first Broadway experience, I ate a pre-show hot dog from a cart on the street as I ran back through Times Square to the theater, twice because I got lost. I sat next to a random guy from Florida and a mom and her two kids from Texas. There was no strolling, no photo stock laughter, and no cute outfit. But my experience, incredible. We must remember to never let our expectations in life rule our experiences.
I could have waited for that perfect experience I made up in my mind knowing I was going to see The Lion King with my sister the next night, but I would have missed an incredible show and a great reminder that we can’t wait for perfection. Instead sometimes we must just go.
By going I was reminded the world is full of such talent. Talent I had grown numb to seeing from behind a screen. Theater reminded me the world is full of dreamers. To see people sing and dance right in front of me as they did brought me to tears in that theater, like ugly crying alone on row G.
But those on the stage are not the only ones that can use their gifts to remind others of beauty. We all possess God given talents and spiritual gifts that we must share with others. From hosting, listening, teaching, decorating, encouraging etc. we each offer something unique that can remind others of the beauty of Christ. But if we do not hone and foster those gifts we rob ourselves and others of that beauty.
Do not deprive yourself of sharing your gifts with the world and do not wait for the perfect time to go. Just go and make the world a more beautiful place.