On my desk I have this small ceramic statue of a little man with a tiny black moustache carrying a cane, wearing baggy pants, clumsy oversized shoes and a derby hat. You know his name. In fact, Charlie Chaplin was the most famous person on the planet in the 1920s. Born into poverty, he worked on stage to support himself and by age 17 he was a veteran performer. Then in 1928 he did something unheard of: at age 29 he signed the entertainment industry’s first million dollar contract!
But Chaplin was successful not just because he had talent and drive – he was also teachable. He kept learning and perfecting his gift. Even when he was at the height of his popularity, the highest paid performer in the world didn’t rest on his laurels. No, he said, “When I watch one of my pictures I pay attention to what the audience doesn’t laugh at. If several audiences don’t laugh at a stunt I tear it apart and try to discover what’s wrong. On the other hand, if I hear laughter I hadn’t expected, I ask myself why that particular thing rang the bell with the audience.”
If when Charlie Chaplin became famous he’d exchanged teachability for arrogance, he’d likely be forgotten. But he didn’t. Instead he rememeberd the basics and always kept learning. Eventually he co-founded United Artists, a company that’s still in business today.
The Hebrew writer told us, “You need someone to teach you…basic things” (Hebrews 5:12 NLT). What has the Lord taught you recently?