It’s no secret that Michael Jackson’s death has shaken me somewhat.
What may not be understood is exactly why it has shaken me so much.
Michael Jackson, like many other celebrities is someone I took from. I took and took and took. As I said last week, he wrote the soundtrack to my youth. I wanted music that I could enjoy and he supplied it, for a small fee.
What I rarely did though was think of Michael Jackson as human. He was as fallen, broken and dying as the rest of us. He needed God just like you and I do.
I didn’t think of him that way though. Somehow the fame and glamour hid that from my eyes and I saw him as something else, something better, almost something more evolved than me.
I have seen hundreds of tributes to MJ in the past week which say ‘R.I.P.’ or something along the lines of “all the pain and struggle are over now”.
I don’t know the state of his heart before he died. I don’t know whether or not his name is written in the lamb’s book of life, therefore, I have no idea whether or not he’s ‘Resting In Peace’.
Do you know?
Somehow it comforts us to think that this poor tortured soul that gave us so much pleasure through his music is ‘resting in peace’ now that he has died.
But here’s the thing…. did you, while he was still alive, pray for his salvation? Did you ask God for the opportunity to witness to him? Did you do anything to try to make it so that he could, one day, rest in peace?
I didn’t. At least not enough.
This week Dave Wainscott quoted Shia LaBeouf (of Transformers, Holes and Even Steven’s fame) saying:
“Sometimes I feel I’m living a meaningless life and I get frightened..
I know I’m one of the luckiest dudes in America right now ..I have a great house. My parents don’t have to work. I’ve got money. I’m famous. But it could all change, man. It could go away. You never know.
I don’t handle fame well.Most actors on most days don’t think they’re worthy.
I have no idea where this insecurity comes from, but it’s a God-sized hole.
If I knew, I’d fill it, and I’d be on my way.”
The quotes were from an interview on Parade.com. I recommend you go read it here: The Mixed-up Life of Shia LaBeouf
It’s easy to see media coverage of Shia Labeouf and make judgements about him. Just the other day my wife and I were saying that we used to like him but now, with his DUI and everything, we’re not so sure.
We only know a small part of the story though.
Reading that article and knowing how I have been feeling about MJ, I have started to think differently about Mr Labeouf and all other celebrities.
I should be praying for them, not judging them. I should be remembering that they are as flawed as me, not expecting them to be better than I am. Most importantly though, I should be remembering that until they know the loving, saving grace of Jesus Christ in their own lives, they, as Mr. Labeouf said, have a God-shaped hole in their lives that no amount of money, fame and success can fill. Without God, no matter how much we love what they give us through their talent, they will never ‘rest in peace’. Not now and not when they are dead.
Pray with me for those who are so idolised by society today. Pray that whatever is needed to bring them to their knees before God, will happen. Pray that they will not die before they have that blessed assurance that when they do, they will Rest In Peace.