His Showmanship

His Showmanship

If you will, indulge me with a little story of art imitating life.

Lee and I went to see The Greatest Showman this evening. It was mesmerizing. The cinematography was brilliant, and I cannot put into words how precise and perfect the choreography in the movie is. Each song is captivating, and the flick is exciting from start to finish. It was simply electrifying. It is one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time, and that is coming from someone who is not exactly a fan of musicals.

There is one scene in particular that captured my attention and, quite frankly, hit close to home. It is where Hugh Jackman‘s character (P.T. Barnum) is trying to persuade Zac Efron‘s character (Phillip Carlyle) to join his venture. Together, they sing the song The Other Side. With the exception of the verses about bargaining, the lyrics spoke to me in a personal way.

Credit @zacefron Instagram

Having recently made the decision to transition to full-time mission work, I heard those lyrics in the context of the conversation I had with God when I wasn’t sure if I wanted to let go of life as I know it. My decision to surrender my future to God was not an easy one, although I do want to emphasize it is a decision my wife and I have made with certainty. Nevertheless, there was a moment when I wrestled with the question and found myself asking God debating with God.

Watching the sequence between Jackman and Efron in the film moved me to tears, and I believe it was a reminder from God to trust in Him so I can live freely.

So with apologies for a couple of ‘damns’ in the song and the aforementioned lyrics about bargaining, I hope you take a listen to the song. Hopefully, it will stir something in you the way it did me.


[Verse 1: P.T. Barnum]

Right here, right now
I put the offer out
I don’t want to chase you down
I know you see it
You run with me
And I can cut you free
Out of the drudgery and walls you keep in
So trade that typical for something colorful
And if it’s crazy, live a little crazy
You can play it sensible, a king of conventional
Or you can risk it all and see

[Chorus: P.T. Barnum]

Don’t you wanna get away from the same old part you gotta play
‘Cause I got what you need
So come with me and take the ride
It’ll take you to the other side
‘Cause you can do like you do
Or you can do like me
Stay in the cage, or you’ll finally take the key
Oh, damn! Suddenly you’re free to fly
It’ll take you to the other side

[Verse 2: Phillip Carlyle]

Okay, my friend, you want to cut me in
Well I hate to tell you, but it just won’t happen
So thanks, but no
I think I’m good to go
‘Cause I quite enjoy the life you say I’m trapped in
Now I admire you, and that whole show you do
You’re onto something, really it’s something
But I live among the swells, and we don’t pick up peanut shells
I’ll have to leave that up to you

[Chorus: Phillip Carlyle]

Don’t you know that I’m okay with this uptown part I get to play
‘Cause I got what I need and I don’t want to take the ride
I don’t need to see the other side
So go and do like you do
I’m good to do like me
Ain’t in a cage, so I don’t need to take the key
Oh, damn! Can’t you see I’m doing fine
I don’t need to see the other side

[Verse 3:]
[P.T. Barnum]

Now is this really how you like to spend your days?
Whiskey and misery, and parties and plays

[Phillip Carlyle]

If I were mixed up with you, I’d be the talk of the town
Disgraced and disowned, another one of the clowns

[P.T. Barnum]

But you would finally live a little, finally laugh a little
Just let me give you the freedom to dream and it’ll
Wake you up and cure your aching
Take your walls and start ’em breaking
Now that’s a deal that seems worth taking
But I guess I’ll leave that up to you