Finding your worth
The International Ballet Competition (IBC) takes place in Jackson MS, USA every 4 years. It is a week-long event where the best-of-the-best ballet dancers, from all over the world, compete to be the "Gold Medalist".
I live in Jackson, so I consider myself a very lucky person whenever I get a chance to go see it.
This competition is like the Olympics of the ballet world. If you are a dancer like me, or maybe just a ballet lover, you would agree that the opportunity to attend the IBC is a phenomenal experience.
The world of ballet is a seemingly glamorous one.
I went to watch a few of the night competitions over the summer. I observed that along with being competitive, the world of ballet is also seemingly a glamorous one, on and off stage.
Young and fit competitors, wearing the most beautiful and bedazzled costumes I had ever seen, took the stage. They were radiating confidence, seizing their one chance to prove themselves before a critical audience.
Getting lost in all that I was taking in, I began to feel small, insecure, like a wanna-be, or has-been, and frankly speaking, worthless.
I realised that the competition taking place on stage was not the only competition going on. But there was also one going on around me, amongst the crowd of spectators.
I felt like I was in a room full of people trying to one-up one another with their outfits, titles, and list of achievements. It was confusing.
I began to measure my worth based on my accomplishments.
Dancing with the devil's temptation to participate in the destructive game of comparison, my soul began to feel weary. In that moment, I began to measure my worth based on my accomplishments and the social status of the others.
I had to remind myself of the immeasurable worth that I have in Christ, which trumps any amount of worth that can be found in my own accomplishments.
It also trumps the opinions of others because, I mean, he's God.
I know there will be times when I doubt if I'm enough, and compare myself to others. But when I'm at that place, I want to quickly remember that my worth is not found in myself or in people's opinions of me. My worth is found in the life of Jesus.
We are God's masterpieces.
We have to remind ourselves of the truth that is found in the Bible. In God's eyes, we are good enough, beautiful enough, and immeasurably loved. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are God's masterpieces, and Jesus went to the cross to prove it.
Setting goals and pursuing excellency is not a bad thing. I'm not saying that I believe competing in competitions is bad either. But my hope is that we never place our worth in our "ranking", accomplishments, or what other people think about us, like I almost did.
Our worth from God is far greater.
Enjoy what you do, and go for the gold. Just don't let it define you. Our worth from God is far greater and longer lasting.
I will always love ballet for the sense of accomplishment it gives me, the health benefits from its physical demands, and the way I can artistically express myself through it.
I will always enjoy watching others perform and compete. As long as I remain anchored in the truth.
I am thankful for the opportunity God gave me to watch incredible dancers twirl and leap their way to stardom. It was exciting and inspiring.
I never expected God to teach me a lesson through it, or use it to reaffirm my worth. It was probably the most exciting and special thing about the whole experience.
You truly feel like a champion when you understand and know your worth in Christ.