What do these three stories have in common?
I was on my own in a big city, work had sent me here. The streets were empty and covered in rain. The weather had kept most of the usual Friday night street walkers at home. But not me. I was in a new place that begged to be explored. But street after street the city was empty. Only street signs lit my wondering path, to, what seemed a boring night alone- until. I turned down a street and saw one lone light from a building it was bright and there was life emanating from inside its walls. I heard laughter and voices as I drew closer. I walked inside. It was stuffed to the brim with people that had braved the dim weather for a chance to experience life with each other. It was a slam poetry bar. As I made a path through the huddles of young faces and smell of fair trade tea. I found my place in the back as the first performer took their place on the makeshift stage.
They began their piece. Out came words that were dear to the writers heart. They were passionate and real to the artist. In their eyes was feeling. Here and there the poet would get caught on a word, or stumble over a phrase. But unfazed, they continued. And suddenly the end. The crowd erupted with cheers. No one remembered the forgotten words or the imperfect delivery. Only the passion and truth the writer/performer had conveyed in something they so believed in.
I was 14 (or so) and being forced against my will to go to a siblings piano recital. I sat there not amused as the performers one by one walked boringly out to the instrument, opened an book of songs and played one of the ones I had heard two or three hundred times too many. The thing is they weren’t bad, much better than me in fact, some even hit every right key. But there just seemed to be something missing. Something that, I guess was lost, a spark, that just wasn’t igniting .
But in the midst of the mind numbing performances, I remember something happened. Someone came out and as he sat down, I knew we were in for something different. He was a young man, wearing the required collared shirt and combed hair. But in the back his shirt was not tucked and though it looked as if he tried, His hair seemed not to corporate with the other hair-sprayed dues styled by the starchy students.
He brought no sheet music with him, and has he sat down to play, he closed his eyes.
He began. His fingers moved across the piano with passion and feeling. The sounds from the instrument moved all in the room. It was not a perfect piece, in fact, multiple times his fingers missed the right key, hitting either sharp or flat note. But, it was real and something that every eye and heart in the room responded to. He finished and opened his eyes.
What a difference from the perfect but feeling drained performances we had to endure. While he made considerably more mistakes than the other performers he made considerably more beauty than anyone of them.
There was a man named David, he loved God with all his might- And during a celebration, he began to dance, he moved fiercely and violently, he danced with all his might, he tripped over his own feet, but kept on dancing. He was dancing because he loved his God, and there seemed to be no other way to get out this passion for his loving God than to dance. He made missteps while the people next to him made perfect rehearsed moves. But all eyes were on David. No one could look away from the display of loving passion for his God. He danced long, and with love, he danced so hard his clothes fell off. God blessed him.
Do you get the picture. Do you see what God wants from us. God doesn’t want a life of perfectly planned out steps and meticulously rehearsed moves. But rather a life lived in reckless abandon to him. You might miss a word here or there, or hit a flat or sharp key, or maybe you’ll even dance so hard your clothes will fall off. But until you dance with all your might and forget about perfection you will never feel the passion God wants you to live with. God doesn’t want perfection that’s why he died. He just want us.