When I was in college, Christian Musician Steve Taylor was one of premier artists of the time. Known for his satire and wit in songs, he was sort of the Christian "Weird Al."
For (3) years, I had a radio show on campus with cohort, Brian Johnson. Our show was called "THE MEN," and ran from 9 pm to Midnight every Thursday. In between our banter, skits, sound effects, and other related tom-foolery (Remember the "Shave Alert" John Bell?), we managed to actually play some music.
One of our favorite songs was "I Want to Be a Clone," by Steve Taylor. Somehow this song was always dedicated to Jim Langan. It was back in college, I don't remember why anymore...
Anyway, the song is about church conformity and the rules in the way to worship. Here is a sampler:
I Want To Be A Clone.
I asked the Lord into my heart.
They said that that's the way to start,
But now you've got to play the part.
I Want To Be A Clone.
Be a clone and kiss conviction goodnight.
Cloneliness is next to godliness - right!
I'm grateful that they showed the way
'Cause I could never know the way
To serve him on my own -
I Want To Be A Clone.
At the time, I enjoyed the melody and the lyrics. And I understood that to be a clone was to copy others. I never thought about what it would be like to really be cloned until later on. There was a movie called "Multiplicity," with Michael Keaton. In the movie, our protagonist is an overworked construction foremen, who through a project, with the Gemini Institute, agrees to be cloned. Think of the possibilities? All his problems would be solved. What could possibly go wrong? (a whole lot it turns out)
"You can't be in two places at once"...you have heard that saying. I have wondered, "Well, what if you could be?" Cue the dream sequence...For starters, I could be at work, but getting things done at home. I could be on vacation, and another clone be at work. Clones would clean the house. Get groceries and run errands. Heck, I would probably retire, and let the other clones do all the work. But would the clone that works want the money they earn rather than give it to me? Hmmm....dream sequence over.
Then I thought about the memories and emotions we experience. Would my clones feel the same way I do? Would their personalities be different. Would my wife know the difference? For example, if the real me is on a roller coaster, I would experience all the emotions while riding. But if my clone is riding it, would they experience the same thing? I would not be able to experience the same thing. I would be watching my clone. Hmmm. I don't think I would like that. Then on the other extreme, if I could feel everything the clones did, I would go crazy processing all the emotions and feelings going on all the time. It would drive the real me, and the clones crazy. Or make me feel like Professor X does.
I think we all sometimes wish we could clone ourselves, and let them do all the things that we don't want to do. That got me thinking deeper that while we cannot clone ourselves, we often copy others. This can be both good and bad. On the good side, an athlete can try to copy the successful moves of others in order to better their skills. We can copy a recipe to try and replicate it at home. Or, we can copy the attitudes of others who have positive things to say and do. On the negative side, we can try to live and be like "The Joneses." To want and live like they do, even if we cannot afford it. Or we can copy a bad habit or wrong way of thinking that we inherited from our parents or others.
Do you realize that you can never escape yourself? No matter where you do, there you are. You can never get away from yourself from the time you are born until the day you die. You and I, we are originals, made by the Creator of the Universe. We are not a copy and not a clone. There is no one like us and there never will be. That is exciting and sometimes a little scary.
I know that I am unique and creative. One of a kind. However, if I were so copy someone, to want to be like someone, who would it be?
Well, turning to the Bible in Ephesians 5, we read: "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved [a]you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God [b]as a fragrant aroma."
When we receive Christ in our lives, and turn our lives and will over to the care of God, we begin to be more like Jesus. And imitating Jesus--to be more like him, well that is a good thing. To be an imitator of God is a good goal. A life-long process. That's something I would like to copy.
So, I guess I am glad after all that I am not a clone. I drive enough people crazy just as I am. Can you imagine 2 or 3 more of me? Scary.....