What is your favorite Miller-ism?
Anyone who had the privilege of sitting under the teaching of Chuck Miller (core staff member of TLI who passed away earlier this year) will undoubtedly still have at least one favorite phrase, one gem of wisdom from Chuck, that stands out from among the many and still resonates in his or her life. For me, that one reoccurring Miller-ism is, “Live your life like there is only one chair in the audience.”
The Holy Spirit often uses that phrase to remind me that if my life is motivated to please God the Father, instead of my ever changing host of peers, then all will be well with me.
While I was searching for a theme for the following poem, one that would capture the essence of this striking image of the large flamboyant tree seemingly bowing the to the sun, Chuck’s words came boldly to my mind.
BOWING TO THE ONE for Chuck Miller Shakespeare once said that, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” Then who, on earth, are we performing for? We enter and we exit off the stage, and in between, we learn to play our parts with fans and hecklers filling every scene. We work the stage from left and right, from drop to footlights, plus the waiting wings. We feed on lines and cues, and play the company. But all the while, we do neglect the house. At first, the doctor wakes us, parents fill the scene. Then on to play with mates our age, more difficult to please. Next comes our peers, and classes filled with critics—cruel and kind. We graduate to bosses, spouse and kids. Then clients, rivals, villains and good friends will fill the cast. The script ends. One by one, our fellow actors leave the stage, and we are left alone. Bright beams go out. We turn upstage to bow. Downstage there comes a glow, though different now. We turn to see the why. The stage is dark; fourth wall of light is gone. Astonished now, we find the rumors are so true. For there is lit an empty hall. Wait, there, a single seat is occupied. T’was our rehearsal and audition. Done. We see it now. We’re bowing to the One.
As leaders, how often do we take the time to stop and ponder, who, on earth, are we performing for? The answer to that question can make all the difference in our leadership style, longevity, effectiveness, and personal peace.
Please join in this conversation. Comment below with some of your insights regarding BOWING TO THE ONE, or personal examples of the impact of “Living your life like there is only one chair in the audience,” or another Chuck Miller-ism that remains meaningful to you.
You can read more of the story behind this poem in my poetry/devotional book, The Grace of Rain. This poem, along with the image, are also featured in my just released book, a small coffee table paperback of photography and poetry, entitled Listening Like Breathing. Both are available on Amazon.com or through kirkmanton.com.