No Different

Six years ago, our family went to a concert of a very popular Christian band.  On the way home, my young daughter asked, “Where did their name come from”?  I said, “I don’t know, but why don’t we email them and ask.”

That night, I went out on the web and found the email address for the lead singer, and I asked him that question.  I certainly didn’t expect a quick answer, and I sort of expected a canned response, quite possibly from their publicist instead of the actual lead singer.

To my surprise, when I woke up the next morning, I had a reply in my email from the lead singer.  My daughter was amazed – stunned may be a better description – that such a famous person would reply personally to my email.

Neither one of us should have been surprised, because this famous person was really no different than either of us.  He certainly had great talent, but he was still a father, a brother, a son, a friend, a church member, a team member, and in his particular case, the lead singer of a very popular band.  With the exception of that last part, he truly was no different than me.

Over the course of my life, I’ve had the great privilege and enormous blessing to be physically close to world leaders, billionaires, multi-billion dollar company founders, politicians, 4-star generals, Hollywood stars, and popular athletes.  Each of these individuals, when off of the dais, out of the formal function, or momentarily removed from the role that by protocol required the pomp and circumstance, behaved no differently than any of us.  Some were incredibly humble and loved the simplicity and informality of those out-of-the limelight moments.  Others still had some ego, but loved a good joke, greatly enjoyed the time outside the public view, and shared openly and joyfully as if each individual present were part of one big family.  Only a small few of these “very important people” were guilty of carrying the nobility of their office or stature into the more private settings.

Fortunately, the bulk of those that through their very presence create a tremendous sense of awe in those surrounding them, are just like the rest of us in most ways.  In fact, they’re no different in most ways.  They’ve had more breaks; they’ve leveraged their talents to higher positions; they may have even been just a tad bit luckier than the rest of us.  But in reality, they’re no different in many of the things that matter the most.

Each of us at various times will be perceived by others as being in a lofty position.  When we are, let’s take the lead from those VIP’s who are truly in lofty positions and still act no different than you and me.  Let’s do the unexpected and hang out at the front desk, go vacuum the floor in HR, do a coffee run, or play on the company softball team.

After all, we’re no different than anyone else.

All sinners.

All needy.

All seeking.

All dependent.

On Him.

God made us even though He knew we’d be this way.

No different.

Yet different.

And wonderfully blessed!

One Response to “No Different”

  1. realdeal42 on 12 Jan 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    I’ve recently had the odd experience of being that person (sort of). Starting this month, I am a new elder at our church. I don’t feel different, I’m not acting different, but over the past couple of weeks I feel like I’ve been treated differently by some. I’ve had a lot of people congratulating me and calling me “Elder Neal”. It’s all well-meant, and the “title” is partly in jest from friends (though it makes me feel a little like a Mormon!), but at first it felt odd….maybe even wrong.

    But I’ve learned to just say “Thank you” and continue being and acting like I normally do. It’s just opened my perspective a bit.