Many years ago, I used to listen to the radio while fixing breakfast for the family. One chocolate chip pancake morning, the radio station had a call-in contest. I dialed the number and was the winning caller! They said if I gargle the tune to a song, I could win two tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters. I made a counteroffer: “If my wife and I do a duet can we get four tickets?” They said yes, but they get to pick the song. I hollered upstairs to ENan and asked if she was game. She said, “Sure!” We got our sip of water and gargled out a few bars of “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore” before we erupted in fits of soggy laughter.
As we settled into our courtside seats for the game, the woman sitting next to me asked, “What kind of stupid thing did you have to do to get tickets?” It was a fun night.
I haven’t won anything since then. I guess it would help if I listened to the radio. But one day last week a friend called and said she had won two tickets to the Alabama Theater from a radio call-in contest. The show was twin brothers doing impersonations – which sounded different – and we were free so we said “Sure!” The show was really entertaining. The brothers impersonated singers ranging from Billy Joel to Barbara Streisand, capturing their makeup, hair, costumes and voices perfectly. The picture is their Sonny and Cher routine, which was spot on!
It caused me to think though about how much time we spend trying to look like or sound like or be like other folks. We mimic celebrity fashions. We imitate the cool people’s swagger. We parrot talking points from our favorite news commentators. I think we sometimes lose sight of who we are personally.
The Psalmist says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful…” (Psalm 139:14) Jeremiah heard God say, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” (Jeremiah 1:5) Jeremiah further realized, “I bear your name, Lord God Almighty.” (Jeremiah 15:16) It may be fun to imitate someone else for a while but God made you to be you. You have a name and a purpose. You are awesome and amazing just as you are.
You cannot be someone else, and no one else can be you…babe.
By Dr. Jim Baldwin