He was gifted with a gorgeous voice that could melt a stone. When coupled with his warm and charismatic personality – he was a highly sought entertainer. And it didn’t hurt that his mother had named him, “Star.”
It was in the late 60’s when he was recruited to sing for our troops, touring the USO clubs in Europe. One small snag, however. There was only enough room for one and Star didn’t play an instrument.
So, he recruited a friend in Nashville to record some simple guitar tracks on a compact reel-to-reel tape recorder.
He then bought an acoustic guitar and cut out a panel in its back. He attached hinges and made it into a trap door.
He then mounted the tape recorder inside the guitar. He took the microphone and stretched the cord out along the back of guitar neck so that the mic was hidden behind the tuning pegs.
There was a switch on the mic that enabled him to start and stop the tape player.
Then Star took his altered guitar and went on tour. He took his place on the stage each night, pretended to tune up the guitar, when in fact, he flipped on the switch to the recorder.
The prerecorded music projected from the sound hole, as he used his hands to simulate a guitar player.
People were so engrossed with him and his singing, they didn’t catch on to his ruse – until that one time in Germany. He was performing on stage when the batteries in his recorder died. Oops.
Hey, I am not making this up. Star was my friend – a friend who faked it until his batteries ran low.
He found a creative way to meet a practical need, but the rest of us fake it for other reasons.
“Hey how are you doing?” “Oh, I’m fine.” Really? Are you fine, or just too self-conscious to talk about it?
What about that nagging addiction? It is eating your lunch, but you carry on at work and church like things are great. Even your family is in the dark.
Your kids seem to demand more than you can deliver. But you put on the supermom persona until 9:00 pm each night – when you finally crash.
So how long can you fake it?
The apostle Paul was in a tough spot, beset by what he called a “thorn in the flesh.” This metaphorical thorn caused him pain and hindered him from doing the things he needed to do.
So, he prayed and prayed that the Lord would remove the problem.
The Lord answered in this way, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me. 10 Therefore I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NETBible ®
There are two things that we fakers need to glean from this:
1) Paul was transparent about his problems. He revealed to the Corinthians then, and to us for the last 2,000 years – that he was a weakened man. The powerful apostle was in fact pitifully weak.
2) He chose, therefore, to rely on the Lord and His power reserves in order to carry on. And the Lord stepped in. Paul lived 11 more years after writing 2 Corinthians, and they were active, productive and fruitful years in spite of the thorn.
But here’s the thing – you can’t have one without the other. When we pretend to have it all together, the Lord stands by with his arms crossed and says, “Oh really – show me.”
But, when we are honest with ourselves and God about our insufficiency – then He says, “OK let me help.”
It’s time to get real. Do it before your batteries run out!
A PRAYER: Lord, we need you – every hour we need you!
This has been Jim Johnson and pickleheavenpress.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.