I’d like to start with a bold statement.
I am convinced that the celebrities of today are the gods of ancient past.
Let me explain.
As children, we had people we admired. Perhaps it was an older sibling, a cousin, or a parent. As we get older, we look up to other individuals: actors, musicians, athletes, and models. They tell us what is desirable for our appearance, our clothing, and the way we should live our lives. They tell us where we should spend our money. They show us what it means to have power and influence.
In the same way that our culture idolizes the rich and elite, ancient cultures such as Greece and Egypt venerated their gods. They worshiped them, meaning they strived to be like them. These people mutilated and deformed their bodies to imitate their gods. They changed the way they spent their resources. They dressed differently, made sacrifices, and developed strange rituals.
They imitated the gods, the elite, sometimes called the people of the stars.
We have our own stars, and while they may not live cloistered atop Mount Olympus, they do live seclude and untouchable on the hill where we have placed them: Hollywood.
Worse yet, we unknowingly make gods out of more innocent individuals: our preachers, Bible teachers, favorite spiritual authors, and bloggers. And through the help of social media, we even do this with our friends.
It starts out slow, innocent, but the truth is, as long as we are striving to be someone else, we can never be ourselves.
Who do you want to be?
This is the question I am asking myself as I continue on this journey of discovering the work God has planned for my life.
It’s easy to look at other entrepreneurs and try to imitate their success. I read other blogs and think, “I should be doing that.” I look at photographs, masterpieces created by other photographers and think, “My work isn’t good enough.” As I write my next novel, I am constantly struggling to allow my own voice to shine through and not mimic the prose of other writers.
It is only now, after years of striving to be like someone else, that I am beginning to recognize, the image I am chasing, the person I desire to be is myself.
Over the years, I have been searching for my image in others in order to discover my identity. I have been mimicking the characteristics of different people I admire, attempting to collage the perfect version of myself, never once realizing that I am already that person.
We spend so much time and energy focused on who we want to be that we never stop to focus on who we already are.
When we take a step back from our crazed and hectic lives, we soon realize that much of the craziness in our day is caused by our striving to be like someone else. We need to take a moment to recognize that we are already the person we want to be, we just need to live like it. We need to stop living from a place of emptiness, grasping to seal our gaping wounds, and live out of a place of abundance.
“Live as if you are already everything you hope to be, because you are.”
We do not need to re-create ourselves in the image of the gods, because we are already created in the image of THE God. What we strive to be is what we were made to be—human—fully earth and fully spirit, a complete and perfect reflection of God.