Ahhhh yes…. Devon Miles. Nick Cannon’s character in the movie “Drumline”. I’m guessing many of you have seen the movie but for those of you who have not, I’ll quickly summarize it.
Devon is a drummer from Harlem who is recruited to join Atlanta A&T’s drumline. He was a talented drummer at his high school and enters college with the anticipation of being a “star” in their band. Long story short, the movie primarily focuses on him finding his place within the line.
On a side note, I want to use this post to clarify, being in an actual drumline is nothing like the movie depicts it to be.
1. We don’t challenge each other by dancing and swinging sticks around.
2. We don’t refer to ourselves as the heartbeat of the band. And…
3. We don’t sing our parts in the rain.
But back to the actual point of my post, I think Devon has traits that we can relate to and the plot-line has some good things we can learn from.
Before Devon even arrives at campus, he has a sense of entitlement to leadership. He knows nothing about how things are run, anyone within the line, or even how well he drums in comparison to those around him. This forms a power struggle within the drumline between Devon and the current captain Sean before he is even officially a member of the band.
One of the defining moments, is when Sean goes down the line playing on each of their drums and Devon outplays him. Devon smirks as he tries to demonstrate his superiority to Sean. Then the band director, Dr. Lee, steps in and has Devon add simple steps forward while playing. He can’t do it and Dr. Lee shows Devon that he isn’t everything he thinks he is. “You must learn to follow before you can lead.” he says.
Deep advice for a movie that’s made up of drumming, a cheesy love story, and….. uh yeah, that’s it.
I know in the past I’ve thought highly of my own abilities like Devon. I’ve thought that I could do things better if I were in charge or just given an opportunity to lead.
Ever joined a group and quickly jumped to the conclusion that you know it better than those who are there, or could lead better? Have you ever let your own pride get in the way of respecting leaders and your authority? Are you a Devon Miles?
It is important for us to submit to our leaders. If we are looking to be humble leaders in the future, the first step comes with being humble followers. If you can not submit yourself to those above you, how do you think you will be able to earn the respect of your followers in the future?
I don’t want to make this a “one-size-fits-all” type of advice because personal judgement is needed in scenarios as well. The last thing I want you to do is do illegal activities because someone told you to, and then you say, “Well Ben told me I should always listen to leaders.”
This is more of a heart issue, not a command to action. Lies are fed to us to resist authority and by individuals all the time. We’re told it’s all about “numero uno” and that’s just not true.
And the best way to work on that heart issue is to evaluate if you are being a Devon Miles in your relationship with God. Full submission to leaders here comes as a result of letting God take the wheel and lead your life.
“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.”