My songwriting buddy Jamie Lee Bradford wrote me a nice note 8 years ago: “The pure beauty of your eloquent Southern soul just floors me … When I go to my next gig I will remember this column and be myself … There ain’t no one else fit for the job.”
The best I can remember I had written a column about Elvis imitators and people who try to sing like their favorite “stars.”
Trying to be like other people is always a tragedy. Every moment you are being like someone else, you do not exist. You evaporate.
Being someone else is hero worship instead of worshipping the God who made you. It is a violation of the commandment, “Thou shalt have no other god before me.” You’ve quit worshipping the God who made you and started worshipping some “star” who could never sing, play, write, sing or do anything like you. You are you and they cannot be like you. So why do you want to be them? Why do you want to deny the very soul shined into you?
I believe who we are is imparted at birth. John said, “He is the Light that shines on every man (or woman) coming into the world.” What does it mean for Him to shine on you as you come into the world? It is the impartation of your very being. He is making you YOU. It is like lighting one candle from another one. You are lit up by the Master candle.
Why in the name of God would you want to be anyone else? So you have problems. Helen Keller had problems but she had the holy audacity to be a little blind, deaf girl until she could become the fulfilled pattern that God implanted in her deepest being.
So you are not famous. Jesus was so non-famous in his time that no Jewish historian of that time gave Him any credit for the great work He did. Only a handful of followers knew he rose from the dead. He didn’t call himself the “Son of God.” He called himself “the Son of man.” He set out to be Jesus, famous or non-famous. He had work to do, it was all installed in every cell of His brain, and he set out to do it. He said, “The Father works and I work.” The Father does His work and all He asks is that we do ours. Maybe it’s a very humble work in the eyes of people. God’s eyes are different than the eyes of the world.
There are things you can do in this life that no one else can ever do. Maybe it will be to lift up just one soul and save their life from some destructive force. Just one person. I would be happy to do the work Jesus shined on me to do if only one soul found eternal peace and spiritual victory. He said, “What is a man profited if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul.” The word “soul” in the Aramaic means “true self.”
That’s what you lose when you try to be someone else – your true self. You flush your own self down the drain so you can be someone who is rich or famous or someone you perceive to be more blessed than you.
No one is more blessed than you. We are all equally blessed because the blessing beyond all blessings is our own soul our own self.
I know I use this one all the time but nothing has ever motivated me like the man who put on his tombstone, “Here lies John Smyth who cobbled shoes in this town 40 years to the glory of God.”
Do you work, no matter how insignificant it may appear to your ego, to the glory of God and for the honor of being shined upon. This is your true salvation, to save your true Self.
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