The Doppelganger Effect

I have an evil twin who lives in the same city as me.  Or maybe he’s the good twin.  Probably depends on the day.  Last week I took my daughter to the doctor, and when I walked into the waiting room, a guy started to jump out of his chair to greet me.  Because I work in a big church, this kind of thing happens all of the time.  A lot of people know my face even if I can’t quite place them.    So, I figured this was just another guy from church. 

Once I got my daughter settled, though, I looked up and he was still staring at me.  I nodded, pretending like I knew him, and he said, “I thought you were someone else.  I know a guy who looks exactly like you, same hair cut and everything.”

“Is he a model?” I asked.  The guy shook his head. 

This wasn’t the first time this kind of thing happened.  About twice a year some stranger here in town walks up to me and says, “You look really familiar.  Have you ever been to-“ and then they name some place I’ve never been.   

So, apparently there are two extremely hot looking guys in Lexington. 

But wait, not only is there a guy who looks just like me, there’s also a guy with the same name as me.  Last month I called up Olive Garden to place a take-out order, and the conversation went something like this.

                 “Is that all, sir?” the hostess said.

                “Yep,” I answered.

                “May I have a name?”

                “Jason Byerly.”

                “The urologist?” she asked. 


                “No,” I said, “the Children’s Pastor.”

The urologist?  Why couldn’t she have said the astronaut or the stunt man?  Don’t get me wrong.  There’s nothing wrong with being an urologist.  I just thought the other Jason Byerly would be a spy or an international business tycoon or something.  This left me unsettled, so I made the mistake of Googling myself, which I don’t recommend, hoping to find a Jason Byerly who is living a thrill-a-minute lifestyle. 

Instead I found one Jason Byerly who goes by the nickname “Cletus” and another with the trademarked handle “Sweet J™.”  I’m assuming he’s a DJ or a rapper but I’m afraid to click on the link.  I also found a car dealer in Ohio and a guy who has passed away.  Suddenly the urologist isn’t looking so bad.

You ever wonder if there’s a better version of yourself out there somewhere living the life you’ve always wanted?   There probably isn’t.  But there is a better version of yourself in you that has the potential to live the life you were made to live.  The Bible says that you’re God’s masterpiece, His one-of-a-kind work of art, and you were created to make a unique contribution in this world using the gifts your creator has hard-wired into your soul.   

A million other people may share your name, but no one shares your destiny.  You may have a face that’s a dead ringer for five others, but you have a heart that is unlike anyone else’s.   You are not a one-in-a-million kind of person.  You’re a one-in-a-seven billion kind of person.   

In his book, “The Me I Want to Be,” John Orberg says, “Only God knows your full potential and He’s guiding you toward the best version of yourself all the time.”  Every time I cooperate with that prompting, I take a step closer to the life I was born to live.  Every time I say yes to selflessness and to exercising the gifts I’ve been given, I become more of the me I’ve been looking for all of my life.

So evil twins of the world, watch out.  Name doppelgangers, beware.   You may look like me.  You may sign the same name to your checks.  But there is only one me who can live the life God made me to live, and each day I intend to do everything I can to become more like him.   


©Jason Byerly 2011