Here’s a quick bit of my own thoughts and opinions… Take them for what you will…
Our culture is obsessed with the idea of fame. To be known. To get attention. It is the drive of an entire generation. We see how simply it seems to come to those who are so seemingly undeserving. We envy them for their social status and the attention that comes with it. The television shows that we watch have this as their backdrop… Teen moms who get cameras stuck in their faces and all the sudden they are famous for having babies with loser guys out of wedlock. Jersey Shore slackers with no ambition in life other than to get drunk, have sex, and repeat ad infinitum. Families with lots of kids who make it look simple to have a house full until the camera lights get too hot and their loving marriage ends in divorce for the whole world to see. Hollywood “tweener” socialite children of the rich and famous who have done nothing in and of themselves to earn celebrity, but by way of a raucous lifestyle earn a bad reputation for wild lasciviousness and panty-less trips to court cases for their traffic violations. Since our society seems to feed on this they are all made into celebrities, paid millions for having done nothing, and empowered to continue their ways so that we can continue to watch and eat it all up, all the while for God knows what reason we long to be able to live the same lifestyle. To attain the same level of fame and celebrity because we see the attention they get and we long to have it for ourselves.
The deceitfulness of this is that celebrity and fame are not this easy. To gain fame for being a good actor, or being and amazing musician, or some other special ability is extraordinarily hard to attain. It takes years for actors and musicians to get their big break. They have to work insanely hard and be completely devoted to their craft to achieve this level of celebrity status. It only happens to the top 1% or so of all actors and musicians (btw… that was a complete guess as to the percentage)…
So for the completely fame and attention starved individual what is the easiest and quickest way to achieve an amazing level of fame?
Anybody can have world wide fame in an instant if by an act of their own will they can make themselves do something absolutely horrible.
It is exponentially easier to get fame and attention for doing something completely evil than it is for doing anything good. So when we push the value of self seeking fame onto our society through every media outlet there is and pound it into the heads of a generation, at least to me, I start to understand why things like what happened in Aurora, Colorado happen at all and why they will continue to happen.
I think as long as we value fame and celebrity as highly as we do, and make it the goal of a generation, we will continue to see horrible things happen. Until we start to value each other over ourselves we will spin deeper into the dark hole we find ourselves staring down now.
In the Bible, Matthew 10:26-39 speaks to this issue and the solution… “So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. ‘Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter‑in‑law against her mother‑in‑law… a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Our worth and our value is found not in the attention of the world, but in the attention of our Heavenly Father. We find our worth in His love for us. We need perform nothing to achieve this level of attention and love from our Father. He simply loves us. He asks that we love Him, and that we love Him more than anyone else… this includes ourselves. We must elevate Him over ourselves. Our pride and our desire for worldly fame will fight this on every level at every turn. But we find a promise from the Lord… “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
If we give up our pursuit of a life fulfilled by only what we can dream of our Father promises a life that He will fulfill beyond our dreams…
That does not mean worldly wealth, fame, glory, or even an easy go of it here on earth… We may not see that promise fulfilled in this lifetime… But it is a promise that carries into the next lifetime and into eternity.
Seek your value in the love of the Father. Lose your life to gain the life He has for you…