Monday, February 28, 2011

Being Somebody...

"...Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, "The Lord knows those who are His,"
- 2 Timothy 2:19 NAU

I’m officially old enough to be president. It’s really kind of surreal. I still remember sitting on the floor of my kindergarten classroom talking with my friends Jason and Steven about what we wanted to be when we grew up. I had on those stupid looking white socks with the multi-colored stripes at the top. Yeah, I don’t think they were cool then either. But it didn’t matter, our moms told us what to wear back then.

We wanted to be presidents, and astronauts and rock stars… and Superman. We wanted to be famous. We wanted to be rich. We wanted to be successful. We wanted to be on television. We wanted to be somebody. Isn’t that what everybody wants? To be somebody? Even at age five, we just want people to know our name.

I wanted to be Captain Kirk from Star Trek. William Shatner looked like my Dad, and back then my Dad was about the coolest guy I knew. Except on nights when he drank too much, then he was just a jerk. But he was still my Dad, and I loved him. He doesn’t drink anymore. But he can still be a jerk. And I still love him.

The reason I thought Captain Kirk was so great was because he always got the girl. Even in Kindergarten I was fixated on girls. I gave a girl a ring for the first time when I was five. I got the ring from one of those quarter gumball-type machines filled with prizes in little plastic bubbles that refused to open unless you smacked them up against something or stomped on them. Her name was Amy and when I gave her the ring I thought we were married. I served her with divorce papers the next day when she left me for a boy in first grade. She kept the ring.

These days Shatner has a new television show, $#*! My Dad Says. He doesn’t look nearly as cool anymore. He’s old. 80 years old this year, in fact. And unless he finds a way to cheat death like Kirk did with that Kobayashi Maru test, time is going to stroll right past his grave without blinking. He will be archived on the internet. His autobiography will experience a brief spike in sales. And when he is laid to rest, it will probably be under the shadow of a tombstone that reads in a variation of, “Here lies somebody.”

He won’t know about it, though. He’ll be dead. Even somebodies die.

My dad, who is about the same age as Shatner, will die too. And I will miss him and wish that I had a just a few more chances to tell him, “I love you.” Amy will die, and probably never return that ring. Jason and Steve will die, and I’ll probably never even remember Steven’s last name.

And I will die as well. I will never be president. I will never be an astronaut. And though I keep holding out hope, I’ll probably never be a rock star. I won’t be able to choose my own clothes when I’m dead either, and I’ll probably be buried in a pair of those horrible striped socks. But it’s okay, because somewhere along the way my dreams changed. At some point I realized that people don’t change the world because they are the president or an astronaut or a rock star or even Superman. People change the world because they love other people well. They love their families well. They love their enemies well. They love God well. And along the way a few people realize that love can make all the difference. And all that will matter is that Somebody knows my name.


Patrick Russell Ray said...


Jayden Barrett said...

Thanks for the reminder Scott ;) Much needed.