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May 20, 2020

I have always loved theater. When I taught High School, I even had the opportunity to direct a play, it went well, and it was a great experience. I also built sets for the High School plays, Henderson Rec Players and other theater groups and thoroughly enjoyed it. But there was one particular year that everything changed.
I was told that my favorite play, Fiddler on the Roof, would be done by Granville Little Theater. I was so excited and looked forward to helping build the set. But before that time came, I got a visit from Mr. Adams, a regular and talented performer in local theater. He said, “Bud, it’s time you come from backstage and get on stage.” “Not going to happen, Mr. Adams! I don’t sing, I don’t dance, and I can’t act! It will never happen!” Never say never 😉! He talked me into it, and I went to the audition. To make a long story short, I got a part as Mordcha the Innkeeper (Mr. Adams was Tevye). It was a lot of hard work, long hours, a lot of mistakes and re-dos but it was worth it. I was so scared, but in the end, the performances were well received and a blast for me and yes, I sang and danced and acted. I also did the bottle dance and no, the bottle was not glued to the top of my hat. The whole experience turned out to be one of the greatest and joyful experiences of my life!
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12)
“Oh, can you imagine? Being deemed worthy to receive a crown of life? Remember how they placed a crown of thorns on Jesus? What a picture of how our sorrows feel today – so much like a crown of thorns. But that awful crown is a foreshadowing of how eternity will change everything. It will all be turned upside down in eternity. Grief will turn to joy. Heartbreak to shouts of thanksgiving. Crowns of thorns to crowns of gold fit for a king.
I did a little research on this crown of life. This crown will be given to those called into special service to the King because of their dedication to Him. Their hearts may have been broken during their earthly lives, but their spirits never were. They trusted Jesus and loved Jesus and cared for people all of the way through. But instead of wallowing in pity, they just kept letting Jesus turn their dust into pottery – beautiful and strong and useful for noble purposes. And then, in keeping with their hearts being completely in love with Jesus, the minute they enter eternity and receive their crowns, many Bible scholars believe they will immediately lay them at the feet of Jesus, so thankful to have a gift to give the King.” (Lysa Terkeurst, It’s Not Supposed to be This Way)
Life is filled with struggles, dark times, tearful times, frustrating times. But life is also filled with great experiences, good times, laughing times, and feel like dancing times. Which one do we focus on? The first or the latter? Do we wallow in pity or do we allow God to shape us?
I have had hard times, dark times, but I have had many joyful times. There have been times when I have experienced a crown of thorns and times when I’ve experienced a crown of glory (joy). I even danced and my crown was a bottle on my head 😊! But you know, for me, whatever this world throws at me one day I know it will be behind me! I don’t know if I will receive a crown, but I know it will be joy like no other I have ever experienced when I meet Jesus. And believe me, when I do, I am going to dance like no one is watching… and that will be no act. God bless and God’s got this.

About Rev. Bud Budzinski

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