Will the real you please stand up

Way back in the early days of television there was a popular game show called “To tell the truth”. On the show, three people would all claim to be someone special or have a unique talent or occupation. The celebrity panel would ask questions trying to figure out which one of the three was telling the truth. The two imposters could lie, but the one who was for real had to tell the truth. At the end of the round, the host said the famous line: “Will the real [person’s name] please stand up?”

I feel most people live their lives as if they were all three contestants on “To Tell the Truth”. Long gone are the days when people were “two-faced”. People now days act out three or more characters on a regular basis. It is very difficult to establish which one is the real person and which ones are facades or role playing.

A few years ago Eddie Murphy had a movie called “The Nutty Professor” where he played SEVEN different roles (most of them various “Klump” family members). Not be outdone, I hear that he played EIGHT roles in the sequel. It is truly incredible to me that one actor could play 7 or 8 roles in the same movie. Not only does this demand talent, but it is a direct reflection of our society.

We recently watched an older television show which had a character who manifested so many different sides, it was impossible to figure out which one was the real person. Of course that was the intent in the show; to confuse the watcher.

Who are you anyway? Do you even know who the real you is, or have you succeeded in having so many spiritual plastic surgeries that you could not even recognize yourself? Many of us spend a lifetime presenting ourselves as one person in our professions, another at home, yet another when out with the “guys/gals” and yet another at church.

I challenge all of us to demand that the real you please stand up. I challenge all of us to throw off the masks and let the whole audience see you we really are. The times are too dark right now to be treating our walk with God and our witness to others as some type of play or television show. We need to put up the sign alerting others that the actors are on strike.

A person came out today to look at the leg of our one remaining horse. She drove up in an old car with mismatched tires and duct tape holding the window in place. When she opened the door there was no panel on the inside of it, just wires and latches etc. Many people would have immediately judged the person to be some type of undesirable tramp. I knew better.

Sitting out in our barn is an old 1979 cargo van that long ago was “retired”. This was my van for nearly 7 years back in the 1990’s. As one window broke after another, I used sheet metal and painted it white to match the van. When the fenders started to fall off due to rust, I used a whole roll of duct tape to put them back on and then spray painted them white. The van produced laughs and really was the very epitome of “ugly”.

I used to love driving around the “yuppie” neighborhoods in that van for I just knew there were people sitting in their hooty snooty houses laughing their heads off at my monstrosity. I could care less. That was MY van and in many ways it represented the real me more than the newer and prettier vans I have owned since. It was my version of the car I saw today driven by someone who frankly didn’t give a flip what anyone thought of her or her car.

People make fun of my “uniform” which I wear almost every day during the summer. I usually have on a pair of shorts and one of three or four nice big loose fitting shirts. Around the house, I only wear gym shorts and t shirts. If we have company I will graduate to one of my “nice” shorts. The point is that I could care less what anyone thinks of the way I look, what I wear or what kind of vehicle I drive. If they are so shallow as to judge me by these things, I am not going to waste my time worrying about what they think.

People are so hung up on trying to impress everyone with their outward appearance that they forget who they really are. People spend a fortune presenting an outward façade that bears no resemblance to what is on the inside. When these people are stripped of their wardrobe, makeup and other things that make them appear to be better than anyone else; lo and behold they are just like the rest of us. They are just people.

What I liked about that car I saw today is the same thing I liked about the old “Flintstone Van” I used to drive and that is on the inside it was cleaner than most people’s fancy cars. There were not piles of trash or cluttered dashboards full of paper or electronic devices.

We lived for ten years in an old house (destroyed a few years ago) that looked horrible on the outside. As bad as that old house looked outwardly, we made it look like a palace on the inside. We kept it clean and uncluttered with fresh paint and even new carpet. Anyone brave enough to look past the exterior was amazed at how “livable” the inside was. I think this would be a fine way to look at the way we live our lives, don’t you?


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