August 4, 2022

It’s been over 40 years ago that I made my first trip to New York City.  I was in college and with a good friend of mine, we loaded up our bags and took my Volkswagen Beetle and traveled across a good part of the eastern United States.  But New York City was the high point of this journey.  We saw several Broadway shows, including Yul Brynner in a revival of The King and I, plus had the opportunity to see Jack Lemon and Jessica Tandy in plays.  The show we really wanted to see was the smash hit, A Chorus Line.  It had debuted three years earlier and was on its way to becoming the longest running Broadway show in history until Cats broke their record in 1997.  It was a tough ticket to get.  My friend and I were able to snag two “standing room only” tickets and gladly stood at the back of the Schubert Theater to see this amazing show about an ensemble of dancers auditioning for the chorus line.

Of course, competition is fierce to land a role in a Broadway show, even in the chorus, and the dancers share their feelings about how badly they need the role… how badly they need the job!  They sing, “I Hope I Get It”.   “How many people does he (the director) need”, they ask.  They struggle with failure, when they sing, “God, I really blew it, I really blew it.  How could I do a thing like that?”

Have you ever felt like this in real life?  Of course, you have.  We all have.  We struggle to reach our dreams and we strive to be the people God has called us to be.  Sometimes we’re successful, but other times we realize we must give up our dreams and search for another.  In Chorus Line, there is a seasoned dancer named Cassie.  Cassie has been a featured dancer before, but now those jobs are far and few between and now she just wants to dance, even if it means joining the chorus again.

I think in life we’re all called to dance… to dance as long as we can.  I love the hymn, The Lord of the Dance.  It tells the Gospel story of Jesus with the idea of dancing as the metaphor for Jesus’ life and mission.  “I danced in the morning when the world was begun.  I came down from heaven and I danced on earth.  At Bethlehem I had my birth.“ The hymn continues as it challenges us to dance as well with the encouragement that Jesus is like a pied piper who will lead the way.

Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.

We don’t know what tomorrow will bring.  Will we achieve our dreams or need to find a new one?  Will we be the lead dancer or be part of the chorus?  God has need for all of us.  The thing to remember is, don’t give up… keep dancing!

– Rev. Dave Poteet, Pastor of Congregational Care