Saturday, December 03, 2016
Thursday night was our annual WCS Winter Choir Concert. The kids, under the direction of David Patterson, did an incredible job! I was there- I make all the middle and upper school fine arts performances. Many of my students were on stage last night and believe me, they know if you are in the audience. A number of them even told me Friday morning what I was wearing and where I was standing! There was even an answer to one of my bonus questions this week:
In what language was Silent Night written? Answer: German (All my choir kids got it right as it was one of the selections!)
Predictably, it was a wonderful evening and equally predictably, the audience put up the chairs and cleaned up before we went home as we always do at Westbury Christian. It's just the tradition.
I have a confession to make. I did not make the 7:00 opening curtain. I came in about 7:12, missing several songs. But it wasn't my fault, even though I don't take that excuse from players or students. At least hear me out! I had my schedule planned down to the minute. I would swim at my fitness club, exiting the water at 6:45, hop in the the shower, get dressed, and drive the three blocks to Westbury Christian in two minutes arriving just as the lights were being dimmed. But something was amiss as I stepped into the very small locker room at my club. It has only one shower and it was running full steam with the curtain drawn. No problem- most guys get in for a minute and wash off the pool water and the smell of bleach. But a minute turned into three and then five and I started to get steamed. I made enough noise so he could hear me. The water kept running unabated. Finally, after at least ten minutes, I made the decision to put my t-shirt and tennis shoes back on, carry my hanging clothes which risked getting contaminated chlorinated residue, and make the 45 second walk back to the main building which has a full size shower area. But as I was about to gather my belongings for the trek to an available shower, I took a risk. I asked, "Anybody in there?" in front of the shower. No response so I repeated the question again and then once again. Silence except for the water spray. You guessed it. I waited ten-plus minutes to get into an empty shower. And I missed a couple of songs that I wanted to hear the kids sing.
I was mad as I cleaned up and dressed. I was mad that someone would leave the shower running with the curtain drawn- my guess it was probably a little kid as they were having swimming lessons that night. But I was more angry with myself that I wasted that time on something that wasn't real in the first place, and then got mad about it again! That's like many of our problems; there is nothing there to begin with. We make issues out of thin air. The person we fear is upset with us- they're not. The job situation we are afraid will explode- it doesn't. The health scare we are sure is life threatening- it isn't. That's not to say we don't all face real-life dilemmas and trauma but too often, we just make it harder on ourselves, draining our emotional reserve needed for the actual storms we must navigate. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches how we should handle the stresses of life, in Matthew 6, verse 34:
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Worry is useless, according to the Savior. I find His teachings here are much easier to accept than to practice. It's the perception of our mind playing out nightmares instead of pleasant daydreams, to see monsters under every bed and in every closet when we try to fall asleep as children. The infamous shower scene in Psycho was shot in black and white and Alfred Hitchcock used chocolate syrup swirling down the drain as Janet Leigh's character died. But moviegoers often swore what they saw on screen was in color and the 'blood' was red. You just can't believe those shower scenes, can you? Oh well- I learned a lesson! Next time, I'll just turn off the light and see if anybody yells at me. It's better than being late!
Applicable quote of the day:
On an awards-show day, I can play basketball, go in, take a shower and put on a tux - it takes me three minutes to put on a tux - and be out the door in 15 minutes.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Steve Hawley at 9:29 PM