Another Great Lesson From The Theater

Recently I wrote a post about “The Greatest Advice Came From The Theater.” My Drama Teacher – Mrs. Bettler – her advice from that post is wisdom that has been true for decades. Fortunately, that was not the only advice gained from my time in the theater. Instead, the next suggestion might sound familiar, “never steal the spotlight when you’re not the star!”

Mrs. Bettler dispensed this advice to me when I was trying to steal the show as a supporting role in the play. Desiring so, I proceeded to mingle in the background as instructed. As I remained in character, but then I began to leap up and down with glee. Immediately, Mrs. Bettler stopped our rehearsal, making a tactful point where she instructed us to “never steal the spotlight when you’re not the star!” Hearing her words, I instantly realized she was talking about me. Also, I appreciated that she did not call me out publicly. Furthermore, I had no idea I had even made the error, and it was a glimpse into my soul. A reveal where I wanted more attention than I ever knew.

Today everyone still wants to be a star. The only difference is the platforms used for attention. In the mid-90s, the limelight centered through MTV, VH1, athletic competitions, and other public platforms. Now social media is the vehicle used to communicate one’s goal for attention. Some might say that young adults – even all adults – are more star crazed (narcissistic) than yesteryear. Perhaps, or perhaps not. Keep in mind, Mrs. Bettler’s advice came to me in the mid-90s a decade before social media even began, let alone a full decade and a half after social media has grown larger. No matter who is right on a generations hunger for the spotlight over another, Mrs. Bettler’s advice remains valid: “Don’t steal the spotlight!”

Mrs. Bettler’s advice is still correct. Why? Because I focused my attention on where it was needed most than trying to steal it from others, I ended up winning “Best Supporting Actor” for the play. Many others even said after the performance, “Mike, you make a great nerd!” Now, one can joke about how much of an act my nerdiness was or was not, but I think you get the point.

Admittedly, I’m still working on this one, but I have become a lot better…I think. Over time, I have given others the spotlight. Be it giving others credit for the work we did together, allowing other family members to shine in conversations over myself, or more. Doing so, when others shine, everyone wins in the end. Let’s then shine our spotlight onto others than ourselves!

The Greatest Advice Came From the Theater

Believe it or not, but I was in the theater both in high school and college. During high school, I played a country mechanic, a cynic, a nerd where I won “Best Supporting Actor” at my school (Yea, I know. It might not have been too far from reality!), and a corrupt preacher (insert your own joke here). During college, I took classes than performances. Regardless of the level, one of my greatest lessons in life I owe is because of the theater. The lesson: “No one knows you’ve made a mistake unless you let them know!”

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One Word Goal For 2020: Acceptance

Most years, I choose one word than a resolution to focus on to start each New Year. In prior years I’ve chosen hope, faith, and peace. With each choice has come a singular area of focus for growth.

My goal came after doing ministry over multiple days, with two different approaches — the second day’s attitude being the healthiest approach, which resulted in no stress, success, and a lot of fun because I accepted the day’s events, no matter the obstacle. Continuing then, my one-word goal tradition in 2020, I choose acceptance.

Here’s the fuller story that led me to this word:

The first day of ministry was met with confusion, miscommunication, reliance on others, and other stressors that put me beyond my element to minister to the group as requested. Fortunately, the primary party never perceived my frustration that I was failing to serve them to the best of my ability. Still, the internal angst I felt personally bothered me, and I feared my stress would make for a miserable next day. To serve the party well, something within me had to change!

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Advent: Week Four, Peace

First, Merry Christmas, especially if you are reading this on 25-December. If not, Merry Christmas as we celebrate Christmas over multiple days during this holiday season. 

Advent: 2019

Also, as Advent this year has looked at Hope, Faith, and Joy, it now concludes with the final word this year: Peace. 

Isaiah 9:6 reminds us that peace is at the core of who Jesus is, was, and will be forevermore. Isaiah writes, 

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

Jesus is the Prince of Peace. A Prince who was born of a virgin, His mother Mary, approximately 2,000 years ago. Look though at the attributes that support his title as the “Prince of Peace.” 

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