This past weekend as my wife and I approached the checkout line at our nearby Costco, out of the corner of our eyes we caught a glimpse of Elvis! I walked over to where Elvis was standing and asked him if my wife could get a picture with him. After all, some people believe that Elvis is dead! He warmly agreed and I thanked him, I thanked him very much!
The gentleman we saw at Costco was only imitating Elvis, or just a small part or a few characteristics of Elvis. He was dressed as Elvis would dress and was sporting a black wig that resembled Elvis’s hair but there were some differences as well. I noticed that his voice was not the same and I doubted that he could muster the energy and vocals needed to convince me of his authenticity. It must take a lot of preparation and practice to imitate Elvis, the king Presley! Some impersonators take years of vocal lessons and a few even have cosmetic surgery to alter their appearance in a more Elvis way.
Well, as far as being an impersonator I don’t know about you, but it is a full time job just being me! I spend all of my time being a husband, parent, boss, businessman, dog walker, mister fix-it, and church servant. But with all the different roles I play, I am supposed to be a reflection of Christ and His teachings all the time!
We here in the Epistle reading this morning that: “Therefore, I beseech you; keep on becoming imitators of me.” [1 Cor. 4:16] At times we all are great imitators of Christ! It is visible in our outpouring of love. Our Epistle instructs us to keep becoming or keep practicing the examples Jesus gave us.
Then, I would have to say that I am a poor impersonator. Like the Elvis we saw, at times I have some characteristics, I wear a cross around my neck and have some Christ-like similarities but find myself missing the mark in my day to day imitation of the One who loves. I constantly fight feelings of anger, resentment and pride, just name a few! It seems though if I truly love myself, I would surrender once and for all these imperfections I take refuge in.
And in looking at my journey thus far, I will certainly continue to fail as I cling to my passions that I have spent years practicing. But I will attempt to be a better imitator of Christ and try to remember to seek first the Kingdom of God. The more I struggle with my thorns, the closer I draw near the Original, for “we are weak, but ye are strong!” [1 Cor. 4:10]
Fr. Gabriel Weller 8/17/14