Despite the peaceful, calm hush in the room, as I slowly approached the stage in McInnis auditorium for Actors Lab, everything was moving so fast. My heart was pounding after quickly walking from my previous class to Actor’s lab. My mind was racing with what I had to do later that night. I was tackling my fears and joys simultaneously but furiously. The task list of my assignments and workload for the semester were processing rapidly. Prayers were swiftly ascending to God. I was self-reflecting, but at the same speed as everything else that I was doing/thinking/feeling. Even though I moved at a casual pace, I was still moving so fast. I found a spot on stage and sat down. I was intending to lie down casually, but I (surprisingly to me) wound up collapsing with a heavy, exhausted, releasing, beautiful, loud sigh of relief. The flood of fears, thoughts, processes of the coming semester, reflections, and speculating vanished. I was in the moment. I was in the now. I was in the present. Praise God. Thank you Jesus! What a relief!
I had (&have been) thinking a lot about how I’ve changed since I came to Eastern. I had been thinking about how much I’ve grown. It required (and is still requiring) a lot of breaking (because I’m still growing). I’m confident. I’m now aware that I don’t NEED to explain myself to people. I am who I am and that’s OK. I have been thinking about the different people I’ve met, how much I love them and what an amazing impact they’ve had on my life in such a short amount of time. I’ve been thinking about how the theatre program has significantly contributed to my growth spiritually and emotionally. I thought about the fact that I only have a year and half left here and that a lot of my friends here are seniors. It makes me wish I had more time. The only way that could have been possible would be if I came here my freshman year. And then all of a sudden I realized something. Something so obvious and so simplistic yet so releasing and joyous. Who I am now would not have been who I’ve turned out to be if I came here my freshman year…because I was a different person. How something affects you depends on where you are in that moment. There’s a reason why Aslan says, “No one is ever told what would have happened.”(C.S. Lewis) Because it doesn’t matter.
Now, I’m not saying to not learn from your past mistakes, or to not be thankful for your past experiences, or to not plan ahead and be responsible. But I feel like SO often we get wrapped up in the shame(or glory) of our past and the fearful(or exciting)possibilities of the future, and we let it affect us in the present so much that we’re not even living in the present anymore. We definitely can’t go backwards and moving forward is dangerous if you’re blind to where you are. Why do the past and future have value? Because the past shapes who you are now and the future will eventually be your reality. Like I’ve said, I’m not saying that the past is not unimportant or that you shouldn’t plan for your future…but start thinking about why.
Christ says that the winter has passed (Song of Songs 2:8), and He also says to not be anxious about your life(Matthew 6:25). He says "Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest."(Matthew 11:28) Be in the moment. Be who you are. Move with the work that Jesus is doing in your heart right now. He’s big enough to handle your past and He has plans to give you a hope and a future. You and Jesus is what matters right now. Previous chances to get to know Jesus have past and though He will wait for you, He is currently standing at the door of your heart, knocking. He wants you. He wants to love on you. And He wants to love on you now.