Be YOU instead of a knock-off version of someone else.
— Christine Hassler
Good morning, friends! I really hope the sun is shining where you are; I've had three dreary days in a row, with no appreciable rain to show for it. Oh, well, at least it's cool in August! I beg your indulgence; today's word is slightly longer than usual. The spirit moved me; I hope you will afford me this kindness.
My uncle, Kenneth, was a successful pawn broker for most of his adult life. Don't think of the images in moderately popular TV shows these days, or even in the shady images of pawn shops you see around your town. Kenneth was first and foremost a successful business person, and his pawn shop looked and operated like any other I've ever seen. Being a pawn broker, Kenneth learned to quickly recognize real from fake. One of my favorite lines concerned watches. One day when I was in his store he pulled out a small box of watches. To my untrained eye they all looked exactly like the Rolex on his wrist. He explained to me the subtle differences in each watch that made them, clearly to him, not Rolexes. They were all, he said, high quality watches made to trick even the most sophisticated buyers, but not with the cache and quality of a Rolex. His name for them was "Strolexes", playing on the image of stolen or street goods found in mega-cities. It has long been my designation for any fake or imitation item.
This past Saturday I participated in a 5K walk to support a worthy mission in town. Something happened that I've known of me my whole life. I like to walk, and walk fast, but my mind has a very difficult time keeping a steady, high pace. When I have someone else to set a great pace for me I always do better. Saturday I had a great pace setter. This guy was flying! I was about 30 feet behind him so I just kept my eye on him and kept his pace. By the end of the 5K my time was faster than I'd ever measured a walk in my life. Was I a strolex? Life is hard enough, being honest, genuine and real. It may seem like a better choice to let someone else "be" for us, so all we have to do is meet their standard, or keep their pace. Ultimately, we all lose when we surrender our "being" to other persons. Pace setters in life are one thing; these are the people who demonstrate, encourage, steady us, and teach us. Our "being", though, is unique to us. To see a pace setter, or anyone else, as a better you is to begin the road to being a Strolex, a knock-off version of the original you. You may have voices in your life that tell you that you are inadequate, insufficient, ineffective, bad or wrong. It's not healthy to ignore those voices completely; correctly sifted, there is likely some constructive advice in the negative messages. It is key to healthy life to keep, protect, and nourish your own "being", the "you" that is unique, wonderful and blessed. How can you keep a good pace and still be you? What do you need to be "you" in a box of potential Strolexes? Trust this: I have faith in "you", not a knock-off you. Have faith in you, too! And have a great week!
John 8:1-11 (again)