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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pursuing a dream

My family has gotten caught up in this summer's version of the "America's Got Talent" TV show. If you have never seen the show, you should give it a try some time. I find that we watch just to see the crazy things people will do for their 15 seconds of fame. Believe me, some of the acts border on the line of true insanity. It's a hoot!!

Last night's episode was much of the same thing. Every thing from magic tricks to dance teams to attempts at singing filled the hour long show. But one of the first auditions of the night caught my attention because it was a little different.

The lady was a 42 year old singer. She had always dreamed of being a singer but her parents had basically told her "no" all of her life. Others came along and reinforced the message. When she took her first voice lesson in her late 20s, the instructor even told her that it was much too late for her (hope she got her money back). Everyone watching was prepared for the worst. Let's face it, when mom and dad tell you no, there is probably a good reason for it.

This lady silenced the place with her incredible voice. Even though I'm not a fan of opera, I was as floored as the crowd was at the event. While she sang, no one made a sound. Even the judges were blown away and joined the standing ovation as the final notes drifted to the floor. It was beautiful...and the emotions that spilled forth from that little lady as the applause thundered told a beautiful story.

It made me think of millions of others like her who never have the courage to chase their dream. They spend more time listening to the chorus of voices telling them they will never be good enough. Even the ones who should be on our side can turn against us and stand in our way as we pursue the dream. For many, that is where it ends. The dream fizzles. The passion fades. Our voices never sing one note of one chorus.

Now, I'm not advising you to ignore good wisdom. The counsel of wise friends has saved me from embarrassment more times than I can remember. But when God gives you the dream--when it is clearly His voice that issues the call--don't let anything keep you from pursuing it. This world would be a far different place if not for the men and women who refused to listen to the crowd and chose to follow His voice. At the end of the day--no, at the end of every day--we perform for an audience of One. I can assure you that no matter what the sound is that comes from your life, He stands over you and applauds you--not because of what you've done but because of His deep love for you.

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