A long, long time ago...
...I can still remember how I accompanied our only son, fresh out of high school, to New York City. He was entering a two-year course of study at Circle in the Square Theatre, and I was spending four days with him; helping him learn the subway system and trying my best to let go.
Just for kicks, we had arranged to attend a taping of The Late Show with David Letterman. (Yes, even though it appears to be a live show, it [and all the other late-night talk shows] are taped the afternoon prior to broadcast.)
Prior to picking up your tickets and entering the theater, a couple staff members walk along the line of waiting audience members...just chatting with people, getting a feel for the personality of the people attending that day...but also looking for possible participants in any audience-participation game that might be played in that particular episode.
Curtis and I were thrilled to be picked as possible players in that night's game. We were instructed to leave the line we were in and go around to the stage entrance (right next to the Hello Deli, for those of you familiar with the show) where we would be ushered in (along with others) at the appropriate time to take seats along one of the aisles, making ourselves available for David Letterman's merriment.
The door opened, an assistant waved our anxious little group in, and within 10 steps, we found ourselves walking across the stage where people like Tom Hanks and Paul McCartney come out to the sound of thunderous applause.
My first thought was, "Wow, this is a lot smaller than how it looks on TV." My second thought was, "Hey we better book it off stage into those aisle seats, because the rest of the madding crowd is coming in and starting to fill the place."
As it turned out, Curtis and I weren't picked to actually interact with Mr. Letterman, but we enjoyed watching the show...on the large monitors at the front of the seating area.
That's right. There we sat...not 20 yards from where Letterman was interviewing Jennifer Lopez, and instead of watching them, we were experiencing the show like we always did...on a television screen.
Truth is...it's really easy to go through our whole lives like that; business-as-usual, ho-hum, it-is-what-it-is. But Jesus came so we "may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10) Let's not be guilty of "playing GameBoy standing in the middle of the Grand Canyon" (Steven Curtis Chapman). Or as Rich Mullins put it: "So go out and live real good and I promise you'll get beat up real bad. But, in a little while after you're dead, you'll be rotted away anyway. It's not gonna matter if you have a few scars. It will matter if you didn't live."