Can We Be Real, Please?

23 09 2018

Some friends told me a story about a well-known band from the 70s that came to theirRock _n town to put on a concert. These guys were hired as roadies to help set up the stage for the evening concerts. When they finished they became part of the entourage sent to retrieve the musicians from a nearby city where hotel accommodations were more to their suiting.  All the band members were ready and loaded into two luxury vans; all except the lead singer. Entering the hotel to see what might be the holdup, they met the star-studded performer in the lobby and he was not happy. “I looked out and saw you only sent two vehicles. That’s for the band, not me! I come alone so if you don’t have another vehicle just for me, there won’t be a concert. You understand me?” They got it and after a quick phone call a company there in the community soon sent a stretch-limo for the singer and another unidentified person. Arriving at the concert venue, this pompous male-diva continued to be rude to everyone who had contact with him. The only time you saw a smile and heard gracious words was while he was on the stage. Afterwards he sat at a table, signed autographs and seldom raised his head to see the person standing in front of him. When finished he and his mystery companion loaded back into the limo and left. All the people that dealt with him were saying good riddance! It was a great concert, but no one wanted an egotistical self-proclaimed rock ‘n’ roll god around anymore than necessary. Then I spoke to another friend.

He was a police officer assigned to security and also got the full brunt of this guy like the rest. But when I spoke to him there was a bit more compassion in his words than anyone else. He had become rather close with the stage manager that was coordinating setup and the like, and he knew this ogre well from working with him for years. He shared that the singer suffered from depression and, if you can believe it, low self-esteem. The mystery man with him was his personal psychiatrist who accompanied him every moment he was on the road. Even with being blessed with an incredible voice that took him to the top of the music industry he always saw himself as less of a person than he really was. To make up for it he would display a hard and rude demeanor to everyone. Evidently it was the only way he had confidence to take the stage. Interesting huh?

I heard a quote this week by Quincy Jones, “A big ego is often just overdressed insecurity.” Wow, that fit this guy like a glove; made sense explaining his ill-mannered ways. But then I began to think about other folks that portray that kind of personality, including yours truly.

There have been times when I’ve been challenged about my faith in Christ. And on more than one occasion someone would trip me up with a comment or question to which I wasn’t able to give a good answer. I can remember becoming angry at being inadequately prepared for some of these attacks. So, I’d shoot back with something like, “Well, if you want to believe your nonsense and end up going to hell, be my guest!” Yep, that’s a sure way of telling about the love of God for someone. NOT! But after doing some research I found that was only the last half of Jones’ quote. The rest of it goes like this, “Be humble with your creativity & gracious with your success.”

Ephesians 4:2 teaches, “Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love.” When I accepted Christ, I gained something special: Grace, Mercy, Forgiveness, Eternal Life.   That’s special, but I shouldn’t act as if it makes me better than anyone else.  I realize I don’t have all the answers and I’ve had to admit that at times. But I can tell what I do know, and in a manor that is gentle, kind, and hopefully in way someone will see it as special.

I really like what Matthew 5:14-16 in the Message Bible says.  “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”

Not hidden, not pompous, but straight up humble like God wants us to be.

The singing “Traveler of the Rock Road” retired a few years back and is no longer in the limelight.  As for his insecurities that he hid with an overbearing attitude; well, I hope he’s gotten over that and has allowed people to get close enough to see his imperfections, and still like him for who he is.

But then, shouldn’t we all?

See ya next time.

 


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