Beve and the girls are off strawberry pickin' (for some reason, it seems right to drop the 'g' when talking about harvesting anything), and I'm out on my back patio, enjoying the sun. Thinking about the deaths of cultural icons Farrah Faucett and Michael Jackson. Fame is an odd thing, you know? Sure, Michael Jackson was a phenomenally talented performer, sure, Farrah inspired an entire generation of haircuts, but their fame made them larger than life. And it's the general public that does it. I mean, there is a plethora of people who are famous for nothing more than having money and a type of look (think Paris Hilton, who, from what I can tell, has never actually done much besides shop and show up), or have the misfortune of needing invitro to produce a litter of children at once (You know--I know you know--who I'm talking about--J + K + 8), and allow cameras to document their lives. Then they're shocked, appalled and finally distroyed by the very media that produced them.
And think of Michael Jackson himself. All that talent (though, to be honest, his voice was too high to ever appeal to me), which seemed adorable, then brilliant, eventually helped turn him into a strange freak of a human who bore very little resemblance to his former self. The stranger he got, the stranger any of them get, the more they become like car accidents on freeways that stop traffic, mostly because we can't help staring at calamity. We're fascinated with tragedy, fascinated with lives imploding. It's why tabloids exist, isn't it? A record number of people tuned in to watch the parents of 8 announce their divorce? Yep, just like stopping in traffic to watch bloody victims be carried off on stretchers.
It all re-enforces my conviction that a quiet life, an ordinary life, out of the limelight, away from media, with enough money to live, but not enough money to count on it rather than God, is the best way to live. Fame is dangerous, fortune can kill us. We begin to think we're something special because of it, entitled to our lives. When our specialness, our lives are given by God. All the rest--all the mansions on earth, all the gold records, the TV specials, the cameras on every corner are human inventions. All a house of cards that will topple at the slightest breeze. Jesus calls all this worldly acclaim and glory "A house built on sand." That 'Neverland' of Michael Jackson--the one he was being foreclosed on? It's nothing but a sand castle, when you think about it. And that's just about the saddest thing of all--that these lives amounted to nothing more than what the tide can wash away.
Yes, an ordinary life built on the rock. Let this--not fame, fortune, acclaim or glory--be our aim.