As a kid my parents took us to see the Greatest Show on Earth, The Ringling Brothers Circus. I have so many memories of the clowns, elephants and high wire acts. When Mia and Kendal were little we continued the tradition taking them to see the show when it came to town. As they got busier and older time had passed between shows. When Ringling Brothers announced that this would be their final tour, I longed to take Luna to share the experience. My mom loves the circus. She is the one who made the tradition happen. Once on a trip to Florida she even showed us where the clown college was.
My parents were generous enough to buy tickets for the whole family to see the show in Greensboro. Not only was it the final show, but we also had VIP, center stage, row AA seating. I would not have been able to purchase these tickets. What a blessing to my family.
The day of the show my father decided he was still to sick to attend. He was still dealing with complications from the flu and had only been home from the hospital for a couple days. I felt bad that he wasn’t going to be able to share in this experience wth us.The travel and walking would be to much. We were able to bring a friend of Kendal’s with the extra ticket. Kendal had just gotten over the flu himself, and this was a nice surprise for him.
The place filled up quickly and the temperature rose. It was an unusually hot day for February and the temperature outside was 77 degrees at 4. More and more people filled their seats and the heat continued to rise.
As the show was getting ready to start and people settled in their seats I stood up to arrange our jackets and baby bag. Their was an older couple sitting directly behind us. Luna smiled and showed off and they complimented her.
Then the man asked me “Would you do me a favor?”.
“Sure” I said, not really knowing where this was going.
“Will you go up to the concession stand and get me some napkins?” he asked.
I paused. Right now? The show was about to start. We were in the second row. It was at least 110 degrees in that building. I was sweating! In February! I would have to walk at least 30 steps up and down. Not to mention the show was about to start. I looked at the man and his wife. Sweat dripping down his face.
“Sure I will go get you some napkins. Anything else I can get you?” I waited for any final requests and off I went.
As I walked up those stairs I thought to myself, ok God I hear you. I pledged to 365 days of serving, loving and giving. This doesn’t mean only when it is convenient for me, or when I plan it. Not just big acts but small acts too. He was testing me. Would I show kindness in all situations? I laughed to myself as I realized what I thought had been my act of kindness for the day , a baby shower gift, was not. God once again presented the opportunity I just had to be willing.
I got back to our seats and gave the man his napkins. He said thank you and never said another word. As the show began I thought about how I could have been irritated or sarcastic to the man about his request. How my outlook has changed by seeing everything as an opportunity for kindness and to serve others. What seemed like a very strange request from a stranger was just the chance to be kind. Several minutes before that a man had been rather rude to the same couple because he thought they were in his seat. He was not only ugly to them but also to his wife for accidnetly putting him in the wrong section. I am not so sure he would have went and gotten the man some napkins.
What becomes clearer to me everyday as I go on this journey is that when you look for opportunities to serve, give and love every day, you see the good in everyday instances. Things stop becoming inconvenient and become opportunities. You don’t see it as wasted time but time invested. You see the good and not the bad and you see God working in the everyday.
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”
The show was fantastic! Luna loved it. She stood up the whole time and danced. I spent more time watching her than the circus. My mom loved watching Luna too. I know Luna will not remember the circus but I will forever hold on to the memories of watching her dance to the Greatest Show on Earth!
I will also never forget the man asking me for napkins and how clearly I heard God speak to me through that moment at the Greates Show on Earth!