"The king acted immediately…." 2 Kings 23:1a (MSG)
I walked into the Fine Arts Building on the campus of Judson College. As I rounded the corner towards the theatre, I was greeted by an actress I didn't know in full make up. She had a look of terror in her eyes.
"There you are! Hurry up! You're on in a minute!" she said frantically.
It then struck me like the proverbial ton of bricks. I had been cast in a small but significant part, but I completely forgot about it. Pushed down the long hallway toward the backstage entrance by my fellow cast member, my heart raced and my mind spun.
"[expletive deleted]!" I thought to myself. "What are my lines?"
As I passed another actor standing at the stage entrance with his script, I nabbed the dog-eared copy and grantically began leafing through looking for my lines. It was useless. As I stood in the blackness off-stage and heard the actors on the other side of the curtain already well into the first act, I realized that I was out of time. I didn't remember my lines. I had no clue what my blocking was. This was going to be ugly.
"You're on!" the actress frantically whispered, pulling the curtain back and waving me on stage.
I stepped out onto the stage. I felt the stage lights hit my face like a 2×4.
Then I woke up.
I have this "actor's nightmare" every once in a while and I never cease to wake up in a nauseating mixture of relief and terror. I'm as suceptible to procrastination as anyone. It's easy to put things off until they are completely out of mind. Like Josiah's Israel, some of the most crucial acts of obedience and ritual were such a distant memory that it took a dusty, forgotten copy of God's message to bring it back to mind.
But Josiah acted immediately. No more procrastination. No "I'll get to it later." The thought of letting someone else worry about it or waiting until later when there was "more time" had to end. When I fail to obey immediately, it's possible I may never get to it until I find myself standing and stammering idiotically under very bright lights.
I found out last night I was cast as the lead in our community theatre's next production.
I think I'll start working on my lines today.