By Gary Miller
Another turkey season is arriving soon. And even though I’m excited about the possibilities, I’m reminded again of my distaste for the characteristics of this bird. Yes, he’s beautiful. Yes, he’s hardy. And yes, he’s a wily competitor. But his best contribution is his shining example of all I don’t want to be and all I detest in seeing in others as well. His pride is evident and that ought to be enough to make me want to blow his head off.
But there are other problems I have with him as well. One of them is his constant concern that others think of him to be something he’s not. As the gobbler approaches a hen or even other gobblers, he begins to swell. All the feathers on his body move in a way to make him look like something he normally doesn’t look like. This is only done because “Someone may be watching, and if someone is watching I have to show that I’m big, loud, large, and in charge. I have to be noticed. I have to draw attention. I have to throw names. I have to be someone I’m really not.”
I shamefully admit that I used to be this way. I wanted to dress like someone else, talk like someone else, and have what someone else had. It didn’t take me long to discover it was hard enough trying to be myself opposed to trying to be someone else. Now I still struggle with this at times, but I’m quickly reminded of its futility.
You see, one of the reasons we battle with this is because we don’t have a healthy self-esteem. What we are saying when we try to be something we are not, is that the person I really am is not an interesting, gifted, or even likable person. We think who we really are is Clark Kent. So, we constantly feel the need to put on our Superman outfit when others are around. Healthy self-esteem is simply the ability to recognize the areas you are gifted in and the areas you are not. It’s realizing God was your individual Creator and He really “don’t make no junk.” Now that doesn’t mean that we are not to strive to be better and to grow, but what it does mean is that our identity is in who our Father made us to be and not in our fruitless effort in trying to be something or someone else. God really does love the person He made you to be. So, you ought to as well. And others will follow.
Gary Miller can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.