We’ve all seen them. Impersonators who try their best (and some really do a great job) to look, act, and sing like someone famous. It may be Elvis, a president, or Tina Turner as in the photo today. Yet, the irony is that, many famous people struggle to know who they really are.
If you ask the Mrs., she’d tell you that I often enjoy imitating Neil Diamond. I’ll take any song I may hear and sing it like Neil. It always sounds better. Just saying… Now, that doesn’t mean I want to be Neil Diamond. Nor does it mean I wish I had his life. It simply means that I like his singing style and voice.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a celebrity who people try to imitate or emulate, it may be the latest fashion or hair style. One that really gets me is the look many young men are wearing with the horn-rimmed glasses, long hair on top, and tight on the sides. I mean, it’s like someone put out a memo saying, ‘If you look like this, then you’ll look like you’re ‘in’’…
I’m sure some will look at my gray beard and think I’m trying to be ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World’ when, in reality, it happens to be the Mrs. has grown attached to my beard and she likes it more now that it’s gray. So much so, it has now become a requirement of a happy marriage. Go figure.
In a society obsessed with the famous, being famous, and the lifestyles that follow them, sometimes, it’s hard to see people for who they really are. Until we get older in life and have some scars under our belt, it’s hard for some people to know who they are themselves.
What do I mean by knowing who we are? We may all be Americans or, in my case, a Texan, but does that define who I am? I can list a bunch of things describing myself such as a blonde haired, blue-eyed, six-foot-tall, college graduate, software specialist, who’s married with kids and grandkids. But, is that who I am? Is that how I define myself?
In some ways yes, but, if all I have to define who I am is my appearance, career, income, or family status, I would be missing the point greatly because, who I am, isn’t what I’ve done or what I’m a member of, it’s what I’ve been created to be.
We’ve all been given gifts by our Maker to use for the benefit of others. He’s made each of us unique and special. We may not have the gift to sing like Neil Diamond, but we may have a different artistic gift. Discovering those gifts can be one of life’s greatest challenges and greatest joys. I’ve heard it said that we’re not truly happy until we walk in the gifts we’ve been created with.
If I could pick one of the most important pieces of advice to give a young person today (anyone under 30 years old), it would be to get off Instagram, turn off those ‘how to be a star’ shows, and begin to seek out what it is you are good at.
And, not just what you’re good at, but what you enjoy. It could be serving others. Or public speaking. It may be writing. It could be music. Whatever it is, pursue that. Use the gifts God has given you. You may not make a living at it (in fact, you probably won’t), but you will find that, when you give those gifts to God and allow Him to help you use them, it will change the world forever.
Even if you fail (and I have pursuing a gift), it doesn’t mean it’s not a gift and one that can be used. Begin today to ask God to show you what He’s made you to be. You may already know. If you do, ask Him to help you develop those gifts. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to be yourself because there’s nothing like being around someone who is comfortable in who they are and shares that with others…
Love always my friend,
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