Religious Science

Pippin – Taking the Best Life Offers




IN JUST NO TIME AT ALL — Stephen Schwartz, Pippin

A while ago, Suzanne and I saw a production of Pippin.  The show deals with the life of Pippin, son of Charlemagne.  It has interesting observations on power and life, and “No Time at All”, the song from which the above is taken, as well as “Corner of the Sky” (a song our choir did in concert a few years ago), expresses a metaphysical view.

These lyrics make the point that we should always be living life and doing it in the now.  We should be soaking it in, appreciating the gifts of Spirit, and fully throwing ourselves with joy into the living of every moment.

A few months ago at the Tony Awards, Broadway’s salute to the best of theatre this year, we were thrilled to see that Pippin was awarded Best Revival of a Musical.  (Also, Andrea Martin won for Best Featured Actress.)  Every nominated show got to put on one number or one scene (for a “straight play”).  All the performances and speeches exemplified excellence.  Seeing such excellence on display is an inspiration.  The revival is currently enjoying a successful Broadway run.

In its original incarnation back in he 1970s, Pippin changed the way Broadway shows advertised.  Before Pippin, it was essentially, “We have a show.  Channels 2, 4, and 7 like it.  The TimesPost and Daily News like it. It’s at this theatre. Come see us.”  Instead of that, we got “Here’s 60 seconds of Pippin” (and it was Ben Vereen dancing, I think from the opening song “Magic to Do”). Then they told us the theatre.  The show had a nice long run, so everyone started to do it that way.  This was reaching out to find a new way of doing things.

At our Center years ago, we used to have stickers that read, “I am committed to excellence.”  By committing yourself to excellence, on stage or in whatever endeavor you undertake, you uplift every activity in your life.  In so doing, you uplift those around you as well. Commit yourself to excellence in all your endeavors today and you will reveal the magnificence of your world.  And when it’s revealed, accept it with gusto.

As Pippin’s grandmother, Berthe, who sings the words above, tells us:

Here is a secret I never have told.
Maybe you’ll understand why.
I believe if I refuse to grow old
I can stay young till I die.

A great observation.  (I’ve long said that I intend to die young – at a VERY advanced age.)  By keeping our youthful outlook on life, the outlook of possibility, we keep ourselves in position to grab what the world gives us, to find our corner of the sky.  Are you ready to take a little of the world you’re given?  Or maybe a lot?  The only limit is the size of your container.  So fill it to the rim with the most excellent things you can find.

Tim Phares, RScP


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