Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Entertaining Ourselves to Death

I am sorry that Michael Jackson is dead. And, I am sorry that Steve McNair is dead. We have recently seen a flurry of celebrity deaths that has sent the media into quite a tizzy. Do you realize the deaths of these celebrities have overshadowed some major global events over the past couple of weeks? Are you aware of the governmental chaos in Iran and Honduras; and, that there is a great American military offensive going on in Afghanistan while American troops begin a significant transition in Iraq?

Have we lost perspective?

Michael Jackson and Steve McNair certainly provided entertainment, and maybe even inspiration in their respected fields. But it looks as if they both died less than noble deaths. I have been bothered by the bright spotlight that has been cast on them (and others) in the last week. It has been bothersome because I have been tempted to become absorbed in this frenzy.

What do I value most?

I was reading through the Psalms for some perspective and found this from Psalm 144:1-4,

Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; He is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer,my shield and He in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.

O Lord, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.

Look at the psalmist’s comparison of God’s eternal strength and fleeting weakness of man. Before we raise up immortal tributes of any human being, let us remember that we are all creatures. That means we have all been created. By a Creator. There is nothing good that we do that is original in us. Creativity, artistry, strength, and endurance have all been created. By the Creator. For the Creator. Did these celebrities use their God-given abilities for the glory of God? Am I using mine for Him? Are you using yours for His magnification? Important questions to consider.

So, before you are swept away by these the glowing memorial tributes to human accomplishment think about your own life by remembering James 4:13-17, “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin."

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