Spiritual Practice


Graham Douglass

Silence. Hush. Blood rushed to my head. The music played on.

What do I do? I asked myself frantically. What is the next verse? I’ve forgotten the words, and I’m the only person on stage!

When I was eight years old, I played the lead role in the musical Oliver. I sang a solo; and on this particular night, the words escaped me. I sat alone and abandoned on stage—or so I thought.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6–7 (NIV)

In this stressful situation, God heard my cry for help, took hold of my hand, gave me peace, and led me to focus. God brought back to my mind the lyrics of the song and purged my mind and heart of embarrassment. God turned the situation around for me.

Believe it or not, I have continued my career in theater. But now in times of anxiety and embarrassment, I simply recite Philippians 4:6–7 over and over in my head, knowing that God’s promise is true.



“The rate at which a person can mature is directly proportional to the embarrassment he [or she] can tolerate.”
—Doug Engelbart


—from devozine (March/April 2004). Copyright © 2004 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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