21
Feb
22

Karma, Karma, Karma, Karma…

I once knew a guy. 

We called him, “The Chameleon.” Cham (pronounced “CAM”) for short.

We called him that because of his great talent for effortlessly blending into his surroundings. 

If you were ever to ask him, “Who are you?” his answer, inevitably, was, “Who do you need me to be?”

Through some innate sixth sense, this guy could read the room and BECOME the person he thought everyone required in that moment. 

Need a practical joker? Cham was your guy.

Need a trusted confidant? He’s right there.

Need someone you can kick an idea around with? At your service.

Everybody liked Cham. That was his aim. He figured that if he could avoid being too loud, or too pushy, or too high-falutin’, or too goofy, or too brainy, or too shy, he could be on good terms with just about anybody.

Yes, he knew the price he was paying for adopting this presto-chango personality. Cham knew his genuine, honest-to-goodness self might vanish FOREVER beneath the surface of his continuous shapeshifting! 

He didn’t care. That was a “somewhere out there” danger. Right now, today, things were working out. He was fitting in… making friends… pleasing people. 

If it sounds like I know a lot about “Cham,” you’re right. And there is a very good reason for that. It’s because Cham was ME. And I am beyond thrilled to be able to use the word “was” in that last sentence. 

And it’s about damned time, too.

I am finally free. Liberated from Chameleon Prison.

My jail break was anything but easy. You see, the tricky part of this whole thing is being able to recognize “Perennial People Pleasing” for the dysfunction it really is. The pleasers themselves don’t recognize it. They just think they are doing everyone a big favor by blending in seamlessly. The pleasers’ “audience” doesn’t recognize it because they are having such a great time being catered to. 

It is only when the Chameleons of the world are asked to stand up and give an accounting of themselves (ourselves) that their (our) personal hollowness becomes apparent. That’s when they (we) start counting the cost.

And it is at that exact moment that the anger starts to rise to the surface. The target of that anger should be the one who looks back at them from the mirror. Because THAT one is the real mastermind behind this brazen heist.

The trouble is, the Chameleon doesn’t know that person. He/she is a stranger. And so, the Chameleon lashes out at everyone else. Everyone who played along and enabled the crime. 

But some chameleons are lucky. Some of those lost chameleons get found by Jesus. Some chameleons hear that sweet, sweet voice whispering, “Because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you, I give people in return for you, nations in exchange for your life,” (Isaiah 43:3, NRSV) and realize that the voice is speaking to THEM! 

Those lost, lucky chameleons also hear the Good News telling them that their life is not a mistake or an afterthought, that their flaws, sins, errors, and missteps are completely known, accounted for, and FORGIVEN! And then, upon hearing that impossibly great news, they realize that they have been measuring themselves against the wrong standard their entire lives.

They sometimes break down in tears when they hear that their life’s mission is NOT about gaining the approval of spouses, brothers, sisters, co-workers, neighbors, friends, or total strangers on the street. They also know with absolute certainty that Jesus spoke directly to them when he said, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29, NRSV).

That is when they relax, shed their chameleon skin, and say, “Hallelujah! I’m FREE!”

Now… how can I use what is left of my time and energy to help share this amazingly GOOD NEWS with everyone on the PLANET???”

What do you think? Any ideas?

Abundant blessings;


3 Responses to “Karma, Karma, Karma, Karma…”


  1. February 22, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    Russell, I can’t love this post enough! I used to read a book by Eric Carle named “The Mixed-Up Chameleon”. He wanted to be like all the other animals in the zoo! He got really mixed up when he BECAME parts of the other animals. Basically, he should’ve just been happy with who he was! I think I’m similar to you. Because of my life experiences, I’m able to RELATE to MANY DIFFERENT PEOPLE. I am a recovering chameleon. My intent was not wrong. My heart was in the right place. My goal was to LOVE everybody. I love humor, I love silence, I love solitude, I love small gatherings,…I can merge into these situations and have found that I am ONE COLOR only now. I really messed up in relationships thinking by changing my color I could change someone else’s. It’s been the worst in my personal life than in my professional life. I’m liberated and free, too! And there’s nothing like the feeling of being completely and exclusively Jesus’s! I think it’s great that you can relate to so many, Russell. Don’t change that. Your MESSAGE is the same and that’s what matters! I think this blog is one way you’re making a difference. And I can imagine your impact just in your family and community. I stand with you in support! God bless you!


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