When we stand up to perform for the world, we want our loved ones and the people who were there for us along the way to be there for the experience. It helps us celebrate the success. It helps us feel good about how far we have come. Success is so much sweeter when shared with others. With our family and friends with us on our journeys, we are emboldened. We are energized. And we are encouraged.
That’s why Rueben Gray was very disappointed on the day he was to audition before Simon Cowell on Britain’s Got Talent. Although Rueben is a beautiful singer and songwriter, so is his father. And because his dad was not able to make it to the audition, Rueben was disappointed. He had wanted to show his dad that he was following in his footsteps and that he was making him proud.
This opportunity to audition had the potential to change Rueben’s life forever. And because his dad had been instrumental in getting him to this point, the young singer wanted to perform in front of his father.
But a professional obligation prevented the 16-year-old’s father from being in the audience to watch him perform. Besides, it would air on national television in just a few weeks’ time.
Rueben understood that his dad was a busy man and had more important things to do than hear his son sing for the zillionth time.
Although his dad was not there, Rueben had support. His mother and girlfriend were by his side to cheer him on. But their presence was not enough. Rueben missed his father. His dad had been the one to spur forward Rueben’s passion for music. His father was the one who had encouraged him to write and to sing. It was his dad who helped get him on the stage of Britain’s Got Talent.
And as he prepared to sing his original composition “Lifeline,” he could only think about how his father was not there.
Rueben felt a hole growing in his heart. And Rueben even revealed his sadness to Simon Cowell and the other judges.
But Rueben did not get a chance to sit down at his piano and play “Lifeline” before Simon asked the young performer if his father was a bigger fan of Rueben’s singing than his mother.
And at that moment, Rueben heard a voice call out in the audience. It was familiar. It was powerful. It was his father’s!
The surprise left Rueben speechless. He had hoped beyond hope that his father would be able to get out of his professional obligation. But he had not allowed himself to believe it could happen truly. But as he gazed out into the audience, he saw his father there staring back at him with pride in his eyes.
Of course, Rueben’s father would not want to miss his son’s biggest performance ever. And when Rueben was ready to sit down at the piano and play, he had a love of his father and the rest of his family to support him. And he delivered one of the best performances Simon Cowell has ever judged.