I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly – Jesus (John 10:10)
Randy Miller died a year ago. I was reminded of this by his widow on Facebook this past weekend. It got me thinking about how rare it is to know a person who actually lives life. Although Randy’s life was cut short, he lived every minute of it. I first met him in 2003 when he and his family walked into our church in Redding, California. His wife helped me encourage this concrete contractor to play drums on our worship team.
He had not played drums for a while at this point, but never was there a moment in our worship team we did not enjoy his playing and the positive attitude that went with it. It did not take long for him to feel comfortable and begin to actually lead the rest of us. Every stick he broke, which were many, inspired the rest of us to put another ounce of passion in our playing. Each time we did, he upped the ante. Hickory trees were felled because of this man’s passion!
He loved his family, deeply. Every time we hung out he was expressing his love for his wife and kids and his work. I knew I was not as good as he was, but he did not ever make me feel shame. He just inspired me to be better. And, he still does. His love for God was what drove all of this love of life. He savored it. He knew its value. So, when he got cancer he dealt with that like everything else.
He in the last years of life went from concrete contractor playing on his worship team to being in a rock band playing on MTV in Times Square New York. Randy got to see and do things few of us would dare. And, he kept his love for God and his family in all of this. The news hit him and his family hard about his illness. He still went on, practicing when no one knew he could have the strength for it. He kept playing and his skill was that of a seasoned professional by now. He still broke the sticks, he just did it a bit fancier.
On one of the final tours he was on with The Myriad, my wife and I hung out with him after a set in the green room. This man had two heart catheters to take chemo, yet that night played like a guy in his 20s. His bandmates were sweating. But, he did not miss a beat, and was not even short of breath. Inspiring.
At his passing, many felt the loss. Of course his family that he loved so deeply felt it more than we all can know. It is a sign of his inspiration to live life that his widow is living hers. That inspires me, too. I know they must have talked about all of that. He loved in how he left.
An abundant life is a life lived. Randy captured that. I sure hope I can learn from him. I keep one of his broken sticks to remind me. Thanks Randy!