I just read the current “Top 100 Celebrities List.” I only recognized 16 of the 100 names. Some actors or musicians, the rest famous for going into rehab or jail or attempted suicide.
So apparently FAME doesn’t buy happiness any more than MONEY does. Yet those are what 99.4% of the emails, blogs and ads are pushing.
Still, we idolize them. Read about them, watch for them on TV. Wish WE could be famous. Maybe one of the NICE famous people. Billy Graham in a coliseum, Mother Theresa at the United Nations. THEN we’d be happy. THEN all this pain would have been worthwhile.
Don’t kid yourself…church can do this too. Work for the applause. Preach for the fame. Do good so others will notice. Tempting. Subtle. Everywhere.
But what if we were made for another country? A place where living through all this pain was what MADE us famous? What if our halting steps were saved in a mirror image in that world?:
LOOK what he endured! So sick yet saving his family with his love. Look how brave she is to feel so sad yet gift another with her smile! Look, they could have bought a bigger house, a pool with their money, but they dribbled it away on friends and family and tiny churches and invisible missionaries!
“If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Jesus told one rich man. Then moments later: “many who are first will be last; and the last, first.” (Matthew 19). Yes. Jesus really DID turn everything upside down.
This world is not our home. We really are pilgrims, walking for a time in the only way we CAN walk in these cumbersome earth suits. In that other world there is a screen bigger than our movie screen, slicker than People magazine, more familiar and beloved than our television.
And there we ARE famous. When we go home, we will see the meaning of our lives. This daily push through the forest. This life cut out for us here in the fallen world. THIS garment that we wear and tend and hate and love and feed and starve. The president’s life was not cut out for us, nor the bikini woman’s, nor the drunken actor’s.
But it was not a mistaken suit, this life, cut out in error with wrong materials. It was cut out to make our soul famous in that other world. Our forever Home. Fitted to pinch and pull and choke and drive us higher in search of the air of that other world.
In my child’s mind the only way to get the massive amount of love I craved was fame. Celebrity. They would all see me, all love me because of the beauty or talent or sacrifice. How else to get that huge amount of love? But without the gifts to get it?
But in that other world there is PERFECT love. ENOUGH love. For the first time. And forever. Home.
Our infatuation with the blockbuster has blinded us to the quiet poetry all around us. Made us doubt the glory that awaits us.
Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. Matthew 23:12
An email from a sweet friend says it all:
I think that the more misfit one is, the less space there is in him the world can occupy and more that God can fill with Himself – and when He does fill it, it is stunningly beautiful.”