Destined for This

It seems as if people are crazy about appearances. “Oh my gosh, I have to have that shirt! It’s definitely the fashion!” “I need to do something with my hair. Straight is what’s in right now and mine is so wavy.”

Fashion. Glamour. Style. Fads. I watch them roll past and cringe.

Can you see what all these “fashions” are telling us today? “Wear these clothes, apply this make-up, use this shampoo and you’ll be just like a celebrity!” Really? How so? Will I be able to sing like Miley Cyrus? Nope, I don’t think so, not with my voice. Look like Amanda Seyfried? Uh, sorry, but nothing I do is going to change my brown hair, thick eyebrows, and dimpled chin. Be as popular as Natalie Portman? Excuse me, but I’m a home-schooled high school graduate living in the-middle-of-nowhere-Montana! I leave the house for church and Bible study and grocery shopping. Forget about popular.

But isn’t that what the media is screaming at us? “Look at all these people! Look at how great they are! Don’t you want to be that way? Don’t you want to be like them?” And then the media throws in this underlying theme: “You know what, you should be like them. And if you’re not, well... [careless shrug] you really aren’t much of anybody at all.”

Wow. So what the world is saying is that we have to be the same as everybody else in order to be worth anything. Sadly, our culture is falling for this lie. Look at young girls today who are wholly obsessed with Hannah Montana. It doesn’t stop there. Older teenagers, college students - - surely we all stumble into the same trap. The unfortunate result is that, in our effort to be like someone else, any idea of who we really are fades away.

Somewhere along the journey, we lose our identity.

No wonder so many teenagers suffer from depression and eating disorders. No wonder they search for satisfaction in drugs, partying, members of the opposite sex, mind-numbing movies, etc. The media tells them that they must be “celebrity perfect” but try as they might to attain the title, they always discover something goes wrong. They can’t afford the new outfit, a pimple pops up out of nowhere, their wide hipbones won’t let them fit in size six jeans.

What options do we have left? Number one, we can keep striving to attain that elusive image. We can try the newest diet, or buy the most expensive clothes. We can strain and struggle to reach that ever unattainable goal, blindly refusing to admit the fact that gaining “perfection” according to media standards is impossible. Option number two is to give up, believe the media’s lies that we are rubbish, and sink into a shameful oblivion. Seeing no purpose or hope, we can slip into the monotonous grind of life and make no effort to improve ourselves or the conditions we live in. We can let our bodies, minds, and emotions disintegrate into worthlessness in our effort to numb ourselves to the fact that we are of no consequence in this world.

Such are the options the media offers us today. We can either push ourselves to such an extent that we become addicts with a thirst which will never be quenched, or we can sink into the lower levels of existence and become mere robots performing daily rituals.

Neither sounds appealing to me.

Fortunately, there is a third choice.

It is simply this: quit listening to the lies of the media. Turn off the TV, throw out your Hollywood magazines, and refrain from staring at yourself in the mirror. Stop idolizing the vaunted celebrities who actually have as many problems as you do. Desist ridiculing and condemning yourself for not being “good enough”.

In other words, forget what the world says you should be and discover who you truly are.
That’s the third option - - recognizing and developing your own identity. I can guarantee that God made you unique for a reason. He gave me broad shoulders, big hips, an irrepressible laugh, and a passion for writing because that is specifically who He designed me to be. He didn’t want me to be another Barbie doll reproduction. And that’s not what He intended for you either.

Can’t you see? You aren’t meant to be an exact duplicate of a Hollywood star. Nor are you meant to be a crumpled can in the gutter. You are exclusively and especially you. How can I emphasize this enough? Clothes, make-up, and popularity can’t define you. They can be cover-up, a mask. They can make you look “normal.” For a while you can live with this false identity you have taken up. But after a time, the true you, that shimmering, indescribable, potential-laden being that you have bottled up inside of you, will shriek to be let out. Then, you can either obey its wishes, or crush it further into the pit of your stomach.

So let me ask you a question, one which I’m sure all of us have asked or will ask at some time. Who are you? Consider this for a moment. Do you know what your passions are? Do you have any exhilarating dreams for life that you’re willing to spend unlimited time and effort on to achieve? Can you see yourself ten, twenty years down the road? Have you even looked past the cover of the newest magazine and how you match up?

You were made for something more. Don’t settle for lies, for “normal,” for Hollywood perfection. Go against the grain when you need to. Stand for what you know is right and true. God made you for a purpose. He made you different. And He made you perfect just the way you are.

I challenge you - - find out your own identity. Stop drooling over celebrities and take a good hard look at yourself for a change. Discover your own potential, your own possibilities. Set out on a new path, one never trod before, a trail that is yours alone.

God destined you for this. This era, this place, this year, this moment. Don’t waste a single breath or heartbeat. Take courage, and be…


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