Monday, October 17, 2011

Idina and Today

I heard Idina Menzel in concert last night.  I didn't really know who she was until last night, but wow, this concert was incredible.  One of the best I've been to in a long time.  Not only is she super talented, she's hysterically funny.  I was in stitches for all her bits between singing.  I had planned to write about my pastor's sermon today, but then Idina hit me (my mom said last night, great - a concert won out over church, so I was trying to find a way to combine the two - Idina's discussion of seizing the day with my pastor's talk about why you like people, but it would have been SO long and you're probably already bored just reading this parenthetical). 

Idina, because we're BFFs and on a first-name-basis, is one of those people you figure you'd be friends with if only she lived down the street from you.  She has a two year old named Walker who I just know we'd always have play dates with, and we'd run over to CityCentre for dinner with her and Taye (yes, she's married to Hottie MacHotster, Taye Diggs), and we'd laugh about the funny songs we made up for our kids.  Yes, I live in la-la-land, come join me here, it's a happy place. 

So between all of the frivolity and singing, she had an excellent, and serious, point to make.  She got her big break in the '90s performing in Rent.  After seven years of working on writing and perfecting Rent, the show's creator, Jonathan Larson, died from an undiagnosed aortic aneurysm the morning before the first performance.  He only ever saw the show that the had poured his life's work into during the dress rehearsal.  That event shaped the entire cast's, a group of 20-somethings, life perspective.  After sharing this story, Idina sang her favorite song from Rent, a part of which says:

There's only now
There's only here
Give in to love
Or live in fear
No other path
No other way
No day but today

She ended with having the audience sing "no day but today" with her.  In the quiet, with the music stopped, and an auditorium of thousands singing "no day but today," the words couldn't do anything but resonate.  Settle into our bones.  Rest on our spirit. 

We don't know what is next.  We can not predict it or anticipate it or plan for it.  There's only now.  Whether it is Jonathan Larson's words, or Jesus speaking in Matthew 6, the message is the same: don't live in fear, don't live in regret, live today not with worry but with fullness and passion and joy.

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