I have always loved theater and during high school was eager to participate in some of the bigger productions. I remember the first time I signed up and auditioned for a role. I thought I had nailed the audition.
I anxiously approached my high school theater class door to read the cast announcement list for the production, “Oklahoma.” Enthusiastically I ran my fingers down the list searching for my name.
“Gosh there’s a lot of people,” I said to myself. “This play has so many characters, so many opportunities, so many …. Oh NO!!!”
I found my name under the “Extra” list.
I was crushed and bitter, and I let those emotions control my heart through the rehearsals in the following weeks. I just knew my capabilities far exceeded a role that consisted of skipping onto the stage, smiling and moving around toward the back and harmonizing with 20 other students before exiting stage left.
It didn’t seem to matter to my fellow cast members that my costume didn’t fit, that occasionally I missed a practice or that there were moments when I just didn’t feel like singing.
My “Extra” role made me feel quite insignificant. I didn’t take much joy from the experience until our opening night of the performance.
The auditorium was standing-room-only, and suddenly the motions and sounds of the production we had rehearsed over and over became surreal. We heard our loved ones cheer, sing along and even vocalize emotion in the heated moments.
I knew our adoring fans didn’t care about “Oklahoma.” They cared about each and every one of us.
All of a sudden, my role didn’t feel so insignificant.
We each had a character to play, and I learned that there were no small roles. I was honored to be an “Extra” in such an amazing show.
I’ve noticed a similar story in my spiritual journey with the Lord as I’ve grown older. There might be times when I miss alone time with my Father, moments when I don’t fit the situation or feel like singing. We all feel insignificant sometimes … but God has taught me that’s a lie.
God the Father loves each and every one of us on a personal, individual level. He cheers for us, sings along (I like to imagine) and is with us through every heated moment of our lives.
He certainly has a lot of children – even more than the cast of “Oklahoma” – but He leaves the 99 for one.
Even an “Extra” like me.
May you feel honored to serve His Kingdom today – wherever you are, whatever role you play – because there are no small roles to the Heavenly Father.
Becca Haines is a communications coordinator for Christ In Youth.