Most of you will have heard the sad news of the passing of two pop icons in one day yesterday. Farrah Fawcett was 63 and died after a long battle with cancer. Michael Jackson the "prince of pop", aged only 50, died in even sadder circumstances. How tragic that even the vast machinery of fame cannot shield its many lost sons from a lonely, miserable existence and an unhappy end.
No doubt Farrah Fawcett could look back on the glory years when young women around the world imitated her hairstyle and her "look". I can remember as a kid watching "Charlie's Angels", though I have to admit far preferring "The Six Million Dollar Man" as a 10-year-old. She will be remembered as a battler to the end, an icon of her era. But oh, how fleeting is life. And oh, how empty is fame. And oh, how pointless is earthly success when eternity stretches before all.
Michael Jackson could have looked back on years of pop gloryand superstar fame - when his dance moves dazzled the whole world. But then came the surgeries, the bizarre behaviour, the ugly allegations, the court cases, the hundreds of million$ of debt.
Like another famous "prince" of pop (actually - his father in law -Elvis Presley), he seemingly died unhappy and alone, his "comeback" unrealized, his fame a chain around his neck, his death a shock in one still so young. Elvis died at 42, and now his son-in-law Michael at 50. Fame seemingly does not take good care of its own when they pass their "use-by" date. And so the ephemeral idols of our shallow culture continue crashing down."
"For what is your life?" asks the apostle James. "It is a vapor thatappears for a little time, and then vanishes away."
"Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher of Ecclesiastes, "All is vanity... All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again."
If it is one thing we can learn from the life and death of every 'icon'on this planet, it is that we all must live with eternity in view, not the fleeting charade of this present world. As Leonard Ravenhill so eloquently asked, "Are the things you're living for worth Christ dying for?"
A sad day.
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God bless you all.