There is a story about a young man who owned a sports car to which he had added the finest hubcaps that money could buy. The price of the hubcaps far exceeded his budget, so he felt compelled to guard them with his life. Wherever he parked his car, he would take out a socket wrench, remove the hubcaps and lock them in his trunk. He would reverse the operation when he came back to the car to drive off. Surely his life would have been a lot less complex if he could have settled for ordinary wheel covers less likely to be stolen. But apparently he was concerned about his image. With the hubcaps he was trying to make an impression as he rolled along the streets. His story is not too different from ours in many ways. Image is important to most of us. Often we go to all sorts of extremes to create an impression we want others to have of us. We build our houses, buy our cars, and choose our outfits to establish our image. We work at jobs we do not enjoy, stand for causes we do not really believe in, and even sometimes have “friends” we do not like in order to create what we imagine are favorable impressions in others. In doing these sorts of things, we sometimes rob life of its joy and beauty. We can find out too late that the price we paid for the image we wanted just wasn’t worth it. We can’t be happy pretending to be what we are not. God wants us to be who he created us to be, with all of our uniqueness. Image isn’t everything as much as popular culture would have us believe. Shakespeare said it well “To thine own self be true”. If we don’t do that, what have we really got? What have we really accomplished?
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