Mistaken Identity

Mistaken Identity

Occasionally somebody confuses a person with someone else that they have seen or heard about. That happened to me three times in one day recently. Each mistaken identity was a compliment.

The Camelia Bowl is one of the more popular bowls carried by ESPN. I serve on the River Region Sports Commission, and we sponsor that bowl and the activities connected with it. One of the activities is a huge luncheon at the Renaissance honoring the football teams, their fans, and some Legend.

Dr. James Andrews was selected as the Legend to honor at this year’s Camelia Bowl. As you probably know, he is an orthopedic surgeon and has operated on more professional athletes in every sport than probably anybody else. I have been in his office complex in Birmingham and it is covered with pictures of great athletes who have thanked him for operating on them.

I was amazed to learn that he is on the sidelines for most all of the Auburn, Alabama, UAB, and Troy football games. His beautiful wife was present, and he thanked her for going with him. He said that last year, she attended 55 football games with him!

The next day following the legends banquet, I was on the sidelines for the game with my granddaughter, Healey Mathison. One of the coaches came up to me before the game and said, “Could I have my picture made with you?” I looked around because I figured one of my friends was playing a trick on me, but didn’t see anybody.

As he had someone taking our picture, he said, “Can I ask you a couple of questions?” I said, “Sure.” He said, “Tell me about the new techniques you are using in doing knee surgeries and particularly shoulder surgeries.” I quickly realized that he had seen me talking with Dr. Andrews and had me confused with him. I told him who I was, and he was very nice but quickly knew that he had a mistaken identity.

A few minutes later another person came up to me and said, “Could I have my picture made with you?” Again, I looked to see if one of my friends was playing a trick on me. This person introduced herself as the assistant athletic director at her college and said that she was impressed by my speech at the Legend’s Luncheon when I talked about the importance of academics as well as athletics. I realized she had me confused with the Commissioner of her athletic conference who I remembered making those statements. I again was glad to be mistaken for the commissioner.

When I left the ballgame, I stopped by Publix grocery store. As I was walking down the aisle, an older African American gentleman looked at me and said, “Thank you for your service.” I was wearing a Navy cap that had been given to me by my grandson who played football at the Naval Academy. Again, I looked around because I was sure somebody was playing a trick on me. I thanked him for thanking me for my service, but told him I hadn’t actually served in the armed forces. He looked at me with a puzzled look and said, “Oh, I saw your cap and I looked at you and thought you must have been a Navy Seal.”

Imagine my being mistaken for a Navy Seal! I wear that Navy cap a lot today!

When people see you and think you are a Christian—are they right or mistaken? Paul said, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20) Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The old life is gone, and a new life has begun. (II Corinthians 5:17)

When people see you, who do they see?

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