Sunday, June 28, 2009

Coping in a Post-Jackson World

I didn't believe it until Twitter told me. There I was, chatting with my friends at a cookout when, upon receiving the Tweet heard 'round the world, my phone chirped. It was the BBC just letting me know that, "Oh, by the way, Michael Jackson has left the building."

More fascinating to me than the rise and fall of a musical genius, is the reaction of that fickle entity which openly confesses to being America. I'm not sure I understand the sentiment expressed in some i-reports which (and I don't remember for sure) went something like this, "AHHHHHH! MY LIFE IS OVER!!!! AHHHHH!!!" I also don't really understand the opposite (and very un-Christian) sentiment which basically says, "Burn in you-know-where, you stupid you-know-what."

I think my sentiment more parallels what one of my friends remarked via Twitter, I am "strangely saddened my Michael Jackson's death." I'm "strangely" saddened because I have no relationship with Jackson, and I'm not convinced he made the world a better place or that his lifestyle brought glory to God. I'm strangely "saddened" because I have no reason to believe that Jackson had placed his faith in Christ for his salvation. This saddens me.

It's a sober reminder that all the riches (and he was rich), all the fame (and he was famous), and all the talent (and he was talented) couldn't stop the ready-or-not-here-I-come appointment with your enemy and mine - death.


  1. Good post. Very well-said. I am getting just a teensy bit tired of hearing everybody talk about it at this point on the news, they are making SUCH a big deal out of it, with the 'my life is over' type statements. But I'm not sorry you posted this - good job.

  2. Thank you, Jason. I appreciate your honest and sincere comments. "Strangely," I have actually been significantly affected by Michael's death. I find that I have a strong desire to learn more about his life now that he is dead. I wonder what it was that fueled his drive for success.

    This sad event has given me flashbacks of my childhood. It has also made the tragic reality of death in this fallen world more prominent in my outlook. Death is all around us. We all are dying, but Christ and His resurrection provide the victory over our common enemy!

    As a lost little boy in the early and mid-80's, I was definitely impacted by Michael Jackson. In one of my school photos I wore a little "Michael Jackson" sticker on my shirt. I had a battery-operated cassette tape player that I would carry around my neighborhood and with it I listened to one of his best-selling albums. I had a "Michael Jackson" lunchbox, and I remember wanting one of those red and black jackets with all those zippers.

    Yes, he was a sinful man (so am I). Yes, he was wierd. Yes, he was and is responsible and accountable for his sin, but I also feel sorry for the man.

    So few have ever walked (danced) in such shoes - a level of fame and fortune that only a handful of humans have ever aquired. It is difficult to know how any of us would handle such rare circumstances.

    Did he ever really have a childhood? How many people have been in the spotlight since age 5? Think of it. 45 years of seemingly non-stop pressure and attention. Did he have any real friends that were close enough to him to help him?

    The man self destructed. Look through a photographic history of his face from the 70's through the current decade.

    The bottom line is that Michael, like Marilyn, Elvis, Jimi, and Gerry of the past, and Shawn Johnson and many others of the present, built his life on something other than the only solid foundation available. He was an extremely talented and amazing man, but his life fell apart and ended in destruction because of his choice to ignore/reject Christ and His teachings. Michael's life was not lived intentionally for the glory of God. His death, as is true of the death of all the lost, is a tragedy. Great was his fall.

    24"Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.
    25"And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.
    26"Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
    27"The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell--and great was its fall."

    (Matthew 7:24-27, NASB)