I have been mulling over some tough issues that seem to be prevalent in our culture today. It is centered around what we seem to value most in our society. Even among believers, we tend to hold the wrong things in high esteem.
Recently, a cultural icon passed away. He had a troubled life to say the least. He was at the center of controversy and scandals for many years. He never could seem to find peace in his life. Michael Jackson was what we idolize in America. SUCCESS! Was he a success in the way he lived or was he a success because he sold 750 million albums.? Was he a success because he gave back so much to society or because he was the King of Pop? What we see in Michael Jackson’s life, was a man who had a void to be filled but nothing, not even success, could fill it.
For years, the media portrayed him as a freak, a troubled man, but this week we paint him as the greatest entertainer since Elvis. The response to his death paints a poor picture of what we value in this nation.
I am not at odds with Michael Jackson, nor would I hurl any accusations toward him. What I am at odds with, is our society that idolizes the wrong things. We idolize the troubled, while we never consider the unsung heroes.
Steve “Air” McNair, a leader on the football field. Phenomanal athlete, all around good guy who was senselessly murdered. His life was snuffed out in a horrific act of murder. I was a fan of Steve McNair. I think he was one of the greatest quarterbacks that played the game, but again, we have all kinds of great things to attest to about his life. Yet, we forget, the surroundings of the end of his life. He was a leader on the field, but not at home. Married, with four kids, but yet had a girlfriend. We idolize him because of his athleticism but not because of his example to his family.
Again, I am not at odds with Steve McNair, but rather a culture that idolizes the wrong things. What we have come to accept in society is heroes that are SUCCESSFUL in our eyes, but do those closest to them see the same thing?
I write these things because I believe we focus on the wrong things in our culture today. Who are the real heroes? Who are the true successes? How come the unsung heroes are never highlighted on the news when they die? Too many live life and then will only get there name in a newspaper when they are in the obituaries.
We will talk about how our celebrities are who gave 10 thousand dollars from their millions to the Needy, while a poor widow gives $50.00 a month, from her Social Security check, to missionaries. We glamorize athletes who will visit a kid in the hospital, but do not consider the volunteers who work in the hospital on a weekly basis. We read about all the great deeds of the famous, but what about the volunteers who feed the hungry, teach Sunday School, support missionaries, and go on mission trips.
Who will spot light them when they pass away?
Why do we rent out coliseums to bid farewell to an entertainer but hardly consider the funeral of a serviceman or servicewoman who gave their life for our nation’s freedoms? Why does a football veteran leave with such fanfare but a veteran of America leaves with a small group by his side?
I am not against the famous or any of that, I just wonder sometimes what we value most. The sad truth of our present day is that many who have give so much back to our society, will receive little recognition in this life or in their passing. I thank God for the many volunteers and servants of our nation’s communities who serve even without much consideration.
I pray for the Jackson and McNair families, for God to comfort them and strengthen them during these tragic times. I pray for all the unsung heroes to continue serving and to do all things as unto the Lord. And I pray for our society, that we would value all people, not just the famous.