I walked into the building. A FLOOD of memories came to me…a flood 30 years in the making. It looked EXACTLY as I remembered it…frighteningly exact. Nothing looked different than I remembered, right down to the color of the carpet. There was the box office, the coat racks, the faculty offices, the curved wall, the restrooms, the stairs lead up…it was as if I had hopped into the DeLorean, got it up to 88 MPH, and…ZAPPED…back in time 30 years. I nervously looked for my younger self among the crowd, fearful that a meeting of then and now would somehow cause a rift in the space-time continuum! Then…I walked up those stairs. As I turned the corner, I WAS 18 years old again, and I could ALMOST see all the other kids (yes, we were KIDS. Didn’t think so at the time…KNOW so now!) waiting for Theatre Pro to start. It felt like the proverbial “acid flashback” I have heard about. (And YES, I have only HEARD about it, never experienced it!) The first thing that struck me was that perhaps the stage, the very space itself, had been left in a cosmic dryer a bit too long- it seemed…smaller than I remembered. Then the lights dimmed, the show started, and I was suddenly “treading the boards” (Google it) myself, back in all the old roles, and more importantly, all the old familiar places. To quote those great theologian/wrestlers The Road Warriors, “What a rush”!
You see, my older son is about to graduate from my alma mater. I was a Theatre Major, he is a History Major. BUT…he is also an excellent guitarist and has become the “go to” guy when the Theatre department has need of a guitar. And they are in the middle of a production of the musical Pippin. He called us and asked if we could come and see it- how can you turn down THAT offer?! The show was being produced in the university’s mainstage theatre, the very theatre where I spent SO much time and energy learning a craft that would eventually lead to the incredibly unlikely vocation of ministry. I REALLY wanted to go- I LOVE watching my kids “do stuff”. But I really DIDN’T want to go- I had this nagging thought in the back of my head that returning to the place where I had the most success as an actor would simply remind me that, although I worked in it for a time after graduation, I ultimately didn’t make it in that field. I feared that perhaps Thomas Wolfe was right when he said, “You can’t go home again”. But I SURE wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to see my kid succeed, so we “loaded up the truck and ‘a moved to Beverly”. (Actually, we loaded up the van and drove to Bloomington…close enough!)
Do you ever have those fears? Perhaps you have a place you avoid because it is the location where you failed at something. Perhaps you have a business you won’t frequent because you used to work there, were let go for being late, and now fear what people will say if you go back. OR…perhaps you have a relationship that is broken, and although you would like to see it mended, you avoid it for fear of rejection, or anger issues resurfacing, or old wounds re-opening, or…or…or… It is SO common to have those kinds of fractured relationships. Sadly, it is even more common that they are with people REALLY close to us. We love them, have fond memories of them, and yet, because of some event that happened in the past, both sides sit stubbornly and fearfully back, not willing to be the one to first attempt to breach the chasm and seek reconciliation. Well, I was reminded of something last night- no offense intended to Mr. Wolfe, but you CAN go home again. You CAN step back into that relationship that is fractured. You CAN make amends, “bury the hatchet” if you will, and begin the process of renewing and restoring that which has been broken.
Who is it in your life that you are estranged from? Who is it that you used to be close to, but now there is a rift between you that seems impenetrable? Here’s my advice- fix it! Be the one to step forward and begin reconciliation, knowing all the while it won’t be easy. Knowing that it will be a challenge. Knowing that it will be painful. But knowing that it will be worth it! You’re thinking “but what if I risk all that and it doesn’t work?” It will STILL be worth it…because you will have no regrets. Life is too short. Don’t let some event that happened in the past keep you from a relationship that you once valued so dearly. Be the bigger person. Make the effort. Go home again…you can! You will be so glad you did.
By the way, the play was great, but the guitarist was FABULOUS! And I am SO OK…in fact, perfect…with the fact that, as much as I loved my time as an actor, God was using that time to prepare me for…now! If I COULD get in that DeLorean and head back…I wouldn’t change a thing!
Join my Facebook Fan Site, Tweet me or email me (all on the left side of the page). Share your prayer requests with me (just below this post). Pray about your damaged relationships…and I’ll pray for you as well. Thanks for stoppping by, have a great day, come back tomorrow, and stick with Jesus!