When my oldest child was in upper elementary school, she and her friends couldn’t wait for “theater season,” when students take to the stage to sing, dance, don costumes, and transport themselves and their audiences into another world.
Unfortunately, at that point the awesome volunteers who had run the program before had moved on. When I asked the principal if we could resurrect the program, she said, “Sure, and you can run it.”
I was dumbfounded. I knew nothing about directing a play!
Yet, it seemed right that my daughter and her friends have this opportunity. So I said yes, and immediately started doing what I’ve found helpful countless times: praying.
I knew I could depend on God for guidance, wisdom, and direction that would benefit everyone involved. Not that God knew anything of this specific situation, but the Divine does know each of us in our true, spiritual identity as His child. God recognizes our innate goodness and ability to glorify Him in all we do and say. Jesus put it this way: “I can of mine own self do nothing” (John 5:30). As God’s children, we express His infinite, intelligent nature. That is how God made us.
Christian Science uses “Soul” as a synonym to help describe the nature of God, based on the Bible. To me, this idea of God as divine Soul is so helpful in thinking about what happens onstage. Everyone, including actors and stage crew, has a God-given ability to express qualities of divine Soul, such as joy, energy, and creativity. As we embrace these qualities, they bloom and harmonize in beautiful ways in our character and activities.
So when I considered these ideas and thought about the students in the play, I thought to myself, “What a wonderful opportunity for them to find their ability to express Soul!”
As I did this, a sense of burden about making the production go smoothly fell away. Instead, I felt joy and excitement.
There were moments when I would forget who was truly in charge and feel as if I had to be my own source of inspiration and creativity. At these times, I felt so worried that I couldn’t sleep at night and would wonder, What was I thinking when I took this on?
Then I read an article about a way to think of auditioning from a spiritual perspective. In the Christian Science Sentinel, an author shared an idea that had come to her while preparing for an upcoming audition: that she was there to express, not to impress.
“How true,” I thought. It’s the same for all of us. We are created to express our God-given qualities and talents – to show forth the glory of God in our own individual expression of God’s beauty, light, and joy, which are reflected by all of us.
In many ways, our lives are like a play, I realized. So many ideas and events come together, allowing us to bloom and blossom so that we can bless others as well. And we can turn to God for direction at every step of the way.
By putting my hand in God’s every day, I felt divine inspiration that guided my decisions, and I knew what to tell the kids. And I mentally acknowledged that each of them had an inherent receptivity to God’s guidance as well. God inspires all of us to be the fullest expression of our true, joyful, loving, spiritual selves on and off the stage.
The production was a resounding success! Not only was the play well received, but the students went away with a higher sense of their own capabilities and confidence. And I gained a deeper trust in God and that we can lean on divine wisdom.
That play was just the beginning. My oldest is now a senior in high school, and I am amazed at how theater has become such a part of our family’s identity. Each of my children now participates in all aspects of theater, whether onstage or behind the scenes. I’ve continued to direct for the upper elementary school in town and have even branched off into our local Boys & Girls Club. Clearly, something much larger than that one play was in store for all of us!
No matter what the “production” – whether a musical, a work project, or any of life’s other activities – we can let God, divine Soul, our universal divine Father-Mother, direct and inspire us.