“It’s always best to start at the beginning.” ~ Glinda
I have three soccer kids, and one child who doesn’t even like to kick the ball. He also doesn’t like to dribble, throw, or pass a ball of any kind. He’s tried hockey and Tae Kwon Do, but sports are not his thing. Which is fantastic! I’m so proud of Maguire for realizing and recognizing that despite his three siblings running off to practices and games in uniforms with numbers on their backs, that this is not for him.
But I do want him to find his happy place. Because I love him. Because I firmly believe God has created each of us for greatness, but it’s our job to search for those things that light us up inside, and then do lots of those things, to help us see our true reflections.
This fall another mom met Maguire, looked at me and said, “He sounds exactly like our son. You need to get him into theatre.” Her words took me off guard. How did she know in the back of my head I’d been thinking drama might be the exact thing that would excite Maguire? He’s creative and funny. He loves dressing up and he does one heck of a Mr. Bean imitation. I’d half-searched for ways to get him involved before in plays, but this was the catalyst I needed to seek out theatre opportunities. I asked around, did web searches, contacted the theatre department at the university, the drama department of the public schools, and our local thespian group. Zero opportunities for kids. Maybe this wasn’t the path we were supposed to be following. But then… I was at my daughter’s high school and happened upon a sign announcing the cast for The Wizard of Oz.
“Follow the yellow brick road?” ~Dorothy
At the bottom it read: Munchkins to be announced. Was it too late? I emailed the teacher in charge (who also happens to be Maguire's art teacher at his grade school). She responded almost immediately, “I was actually getting ready to email you about this. I think Maguire would be a great Munchkin. If he's interested, we’d love to have him! Oh, and rehearsals start tomorrow.”
Get out! What had seemed like a lark, and then a dead end, all of a sudden fell perfectly together. It was as if God orchestrated every step of the way along a winding road through poppies, past witches and to the Emerald City itself. Are you at a dead end today? Keep your eyes peeled, God is at work, behind the scenes arranging amazing opportunities.
At rehearsal a dozen or so 2nd and 3rd graders nervously looked around taking in the thick, green velvet curtains and bright stage lights. The night was simple. Kids sitting next to parents, hesitantly singing the words on their scripts. As rehearsals continued, munchkins moved to the seats by the stage, away from their parents, stood while they sang, and were selected for specific roles. Maguire was cast in the Lollypop Guild. Soon they no longer needed their scripts. The first night Maguire was allowed to rehearse on the actual stage, he came home proclaiming he wanted to be an actor when he grows up, or maybe a movie producer.
“Follow the yellow brick road!”~Mayor of Munchkin City
This weekend were his performances. They made this mama weep for joy. It’s been a gift to watch the kids grow--memorizing their lines, taking cues, learning their dances, and taking on the persona of munchkins in a magical land. I don’t know if Maguire will act in one more play, or a dozen, or become the movie producer he’s currently envisioning, but what completely blows me away is how God brought him to this place. When neither my son nor I knew what he wanted to do, God did. God knows where you need to be as well. And He will get you there, one yellow brick at a time. When I saw Maguire on stage, beaming and dancing, cowering from the Witch, and waving goodbye to Dorothy, he was radiant, and I know, for now, he has found his happy place, his special kind of beautiful, his true reflection (which happens to be wearing bright orange suspenders and striped socks).
"There is a garden spot, I'm told. Where it's never too hot and it's never too cold. Where you're never too old. Where you're never too thin or tall. And you're never, never, never, too, too anything at all." ~Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tinman, and Lion
This song about the Emerald City makes it sound so grand. But God's plans for you are even greater! Where is God calling you today? What lights you up? Seek it and He’ll help you get there. Be patient. There may be dead ends (or winged monkeys or spooky forests) along the way. But God does have a path laid out for you. A brilliant one. It might not be paved with yellow bricks, but then again it just might be.
Laura L. Smith