My daughters have one big ballet recital every spring, and all the weeks of practice come down to the Saturday morning before the big show. Dress rehearsal is the last chance to get it right. It requires focus, determination and discipline.
It’s a long morning. They work hard. They wait. They work hard some more and do their very best to hit every step with perfection.
Unless, of course, they see a feather.
My four-year-old and her preschool friends played puffins in this particular ballet. In case you haven’t seen one lately, puffins are those cute little birds that look like penguins. That means their costumes were laced with feathers, lots and lots of feathers. At the end of their dance, the girls did a final twirl and froze in position.
Except for Kate.
Somehow in that last move, a single feather broke free from a tutu and launched itself into the air. Right next to her. The second she saw the random feather drifting above her head, she broke from the pack and went for it.
This ballet stuff was great and all, but she had more important work to do – chasing feathers. Everyone else remained frozen, but Kate could care less. She was mesmerized by that feather that floated just out of her reach. As far as she was concerned the theater might as well have been empty.
While she may have missed the chance to work out her ballet steps, she seized the opportunity to live in the moment. There’s magic in moments like those, and we rush past far too many of them.
In the grown-up world, many days feel like dress rehearsal for a performance that never comes. We work hard at our jobs, scurry to keep up with our kids and scramble to stay in rhythm with the hectic dance of responsibilities that come with being an adult. We try to get every step right. Then tomorrow we wake up and do it all over again.
I don’t know about you, but I’m sure I miss a lot of feathers. Every day God gives me cool moments, holy moments, to enjoy and I run right past them. Whether it’s playing with my kids or drinking in a sunset, laughing with a friend or taking a walk in the rain, these are the moments that are packed with wonder. But I blow them off because I’m busy.
Maybe that’s why Psalm 23 talks about God making us lie down in green pastures, because if He doesn’t make us, we’d rarely do it on our own.
The Bible says that the God who loves you made this day. Today. Each and and every day. It’s a gift. Sure, there’s lots of great things to accomplish. Yes, we all have responsibilities. But what if the greatest accomplishment was going after the feathers? What if our biggest responsibility was seeking God in the distractions and living with the freedom of a four-year-old?
So keep your eyes peeled today for the simple detours God may send your way. Chase a few feathers. When the dance is over, you’ll be glad you did.