Monday, August 07, 2006

It was good enough...

Friday night I went out with my wife, mother, and sister to see Disney's Beauty and the Beast. It was put on by the Oklahoma Shakespeare Festival. It was held in the the new Robson Performing Arts Center in Claremore. This is a mini-review of the performance, but there is something more to come at the end.

First, let me begin by saying I am a Disney nut. NOT Disney the company, but Disney the ideal. Walt Disney is one of three heroes I have in my life. The ideal of Disney was to put on the best show possible. So when I see something with the Disney name, I immediately look at it with the ideal in mind. Is that unfair?

Second, when it comes to plays I have a pretty high standard to meet. New Yorkers are either Broadway or off-Broadway types. It is what they are used to. My first play experience was a little more grand than even that. The first play (opera really) I ever attended was in Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre. I am not a conoisseur of great plays by any stretch of the imagination. But there was a lasting impression left on me attending that setting.

Last, I have pet peeves. I am not hard to get along with. Most times. I am pretty much a live and let live kind of person. But there are a few things that fly all over me and that change my mood and level of receptivity quicker than anything else. One of those pet peeves is talking during a movie or show I am watching. That's why God created commercials. But there is an offshoot of talking during a movie that I found out Friday night: singing along with the musical numbers during a play. You know who you are.

Now that I have developed my character in your minds eye I will set about a mini-review of the play. I have seen better. The technical problems with sound and lights were annoying me. The Beast was shorter than the candlestick Lumiere. Belle was a talented singer but was more '50's Hollywood starlet at times than French provencial. Lumiere and Cogsworth (the clock) had the most dynamic scenes with the candle burning brighter.

Judging by this mini-review you may think that I didn't like it. I like it well enough now. At first I didn't care for it. But there were a few people who summed up the play this way: It was good enough for Claremore.


What does it mean for something to be "good enough". This clearly implies that it is not wholly good. It is good enough. I use this when evaluating my boys when they clean their rooms. Yeah, it is not perfect. But it is good enough.

For the play, the comment of "it was good enough for Claremore" is saying a lot, and none of it is positive. This comment says, "The play wasn't all the way good. There were some areas in which it was lacking. There were some shortcoming or faults. But we are too polite to speak them." (Editorial comment on author's character flaw: NO such problem with being too polite.)

But that comment, "it was good enough for Claremore" also says that Claremore doesn't deserve anything better. There is some quality about the community/people that has established a standard saying, "We don't deserve better." That is a sad comment. It implies that this community is not worthy of wholly good things. It excludes us from experiencing things of excellence and true beauty.

And the church has this same opinion. Many times in the life of the church we will see or hear something and say, "That's good enough for us." Maybe it's music or preaching. Maybe it is mission or evangelism. Again it implies it wasn't good and we don't deserve any better.

That is sad. Genesis chapter 1 says that when God created everything, God considered it all very good. Jesus says of the lives we lead in him that we have life abundant. Paul talks about us being restored in the image of God.

We are NOT substandard people.

We are GOOD people.

Don't ever think that something is just "good enough" for you. You are deserving of good things. You deserve the best that God has to offer. We should be pushing ourselves in excellence and dilligence to be producing what is good. In our jobs, our homes, our churches, everything that we do should be good.
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