When I was a younger man, going through those stages of becoming an evangelical preacher, I looked for models to emulate. I had, after all, never been a preacher. I was interested in being a good model. I wanted to make an impact on the world. I wanted to do my part in proclaiming the Gospel. I wanted to look the part and I think my motives were pure.
So I looked for models, models that I thought were appropriate, models that met the bill for life as a preacher of the Gospel in these modern times.
It’s interesting, at least to me, how we are influenced in our decision making processes, how we select models that appear to be successful and labor hard to incorporate their appearance into our own. The dress. The walk. The talk. Styles and appearances. The things that attract a dull mind and shallow heart.
It’s funny. One day I was living in jeans, t-shirts, and walking with flops on my feet. The next day I was wearing wing-tips and 3 piece suits. Well. It wasn’t actually a transition in a day.
The morph occurred during my Bible College experience. I entered school a plain version of myself in my early conversion. I walked out a sleek and groomed subversion of myself, armed with an acquired doctrinal bent, set loose by my trainers like a dog on a hunt. I really thought I looked the part. And I really thought I could sniff, bark, and howl with the best of the contemporary pack.
Several years ago, my wardrobe changed again. A lot, besides outward appearances, changed. Though to most that knew me at the time it appeared as an overnight change, it really was a cumulative thing that involved several variables working together over time. Hard stuff. Drive you to your knees stuff. Stuff that makes you really think and sort through more than the clothes closet. Stuff that makes you dig deep into the heart closet.
Stuff that makes you look for models that are more representative and more accurate portrayals of the life of the Original Model, a Model and models more worth emulating. It’s funny, in a sad sort of way, how easily we can emulate lesser models and how difficult it is to follow the Model and those that are most like him. It just simply goes against the grain of contemporary thought, patterns, and styles. It cuts, like a rasp, against our own grain.