With help from Wikipedia, I discovered that The Nutcracker is an 1892 two-act Russian ballet, originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Op. 71). The text used in the ballet (called “libretto”) is adapted from E. T. A. Hoffmann's 1816 short story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King." Although the original production was not a success, the 20-minute suite that Tchaikovsky extracted from the ballet was. The complete Nutcracker has enjoyed enormous popularity since the late 1960s and is now performed by countless ballet companies, primarily during the Christmas season. Major American ballet companies generate around 40% of their annual ticket revenues from performances of The Nutcracker. The ballet's score has been used in several film adaptations of Hoffmann's story.
I’ve sometimes wondered how ballerinas can do all those spins without getting dizzy and falling down. Kimya Loda, in the February 19, 2022 “Our Daily Bread” devotion, shares how she loved doing the graceful pirouettes as a child in her dance class, but whirling round and round made her dizzy in the head and she often fell to the ground. As she got older, a trick she learned to help her maintain balance and control was “spotting”—identifying a single point for her eyes to return to each time she made a full circle spin. Having a single focal point was all she needed to master her pirouette with a graceful finish.
At Christmastime, we all face twists and turns in life that attempt to steal our peace and make us feel out of control. When we focus on our problems and frustrations, however, the things we encounter seem unmanageable, leaving us dizzy and heading toward a disastrous fall. The Bible reminds us that if we keep our minds steadfast, or focused, on God, he’ll keep us in “perfect peace.” Isaiah 26:3 tells us, You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Perfect peace means that no matter how many turns life takes, we can remain calm, assured that God will be with us through our problems and trials, as well as through the chaos of Christmastime. He’s the ultimate “spot” to fix our eyes on, because he is our Rock we stand upon.
May we keep our eyes on Him as we go through each day by taking time to worship him both personally and with the community of believers. We can go to Him in prayer and study His promises in the Bible. May we trust and rely on Jesus, our eternal Savior who came to us when we could not go to him,
Merry Christmas and peace to you!