Tag Archives: famous

Idolness

I’m watching the Tennessee Titans play the New York Jets at LP Field in Nashville.

The Titans are 10-0 right now and are currently losing to the Jets. Maybe they’ll be 10-1 after this is over. Maybe they’ll be 11-0. It’d be nice to stay undefeated but I really don’t care that much if they lose or win. I just cheer for the Titans cuz I live in Nashville.

A few minutes ago, the Jets scored to make the score 20-3 in favor of the Jets. After catching the football, the touchdown-acquiring receiver ran out of the back of the end zone. Fans quickly started slapping his pads and patting him on the back in praise for what he’d done.

While watching that scene, something struck me. Fans clamor to touch famous people. Famous athletes. Famous actors. Famous musicians. Famous folks. We’ve all seen mobs of fanish individuals hound and surround the prey of their feverish attention and devotion. All of this energy and focus goes into just touching someone famous. Or talking to someone famous. Or trying to develop a relationship with someone famous.

I’m a people watcher so I notice this sort of thing a lot. And, since I live in Nashville, I’ve got ample opportunities to see the fans interact with the famous. It’s mesmerizing to watch a fan pour out all of their love for the famous in mere seconds. Because that’s all they have. Fifteen seconds to tell a football player he’s awesome before he runs away to the sidelines. Thirty seconds to declare unending devotion to a drummer in an autograph line before the security guard ushers in the next fan.

After a momentous (and I say momentous because it contains the word moment, implying a short amount of time) encounter with someone famous, a fan can be on a high for hours, days, weeks, months and even years. A moment becomes a lifelong memory. A moment that the famous person will probably not even remember will be forever inscribed on the mind of the fan.

Does all of this seem weird to you? Does it appear extreme? It should. That’s what I’m going for. I hope you felt awkward when reading about the fan/famous relationship.

I know this has been said before, but it’s weird and wrong and backwards to watch thousands of people scream praises to athletes/musicians/actors and accept that as normal. Human hero worship is not normal. It’s abnormal. it’s not the way it’s supposed to be.

We were created to worship God. The only (once) human we should worship is Jesus. It should feel and appear and look normal to worship God. Yet, to most, it doesn’t. Most people feel awkward worshiping God publicly. Most won’t scream praises as loud as they can to their Creator.

Even I feel that. I feel compelled to scream as loud as I can at a football game to try and spur on my team to victory. Yet, in church, when my pastor instructs me to show God my praise and thanksgiving for what He’s done in my life, something holds me back. Something constrains my total volume of gratitude toward God.

Maybe it’s the age-old unwritten rule that I’m supposed to be quietly reserved, respectful and reverent in church that stops me. *shrug* Probably.

Let’s put it in perspective. Jesus Christ enduring the crucifying cross as payment for my sin is way more praise-worthy than a Titan scoring a touchdown. WAY MORE. The touchdown doesn’t eternally matter. Jesus’ sacrifice does.

Back in the day (as in when Jesus was alive) people really did clamor just to touch the hem of His garment. They knew they’d be healed if they touched Him. I wonder if most of the world has forgotten that time in history. I know things would be different if people started remembering how powerful God’s healing is.

As my last blog said, there’s a huge Bible illiteracy epidemic. If more people read the Bible and worked to understand it, they’d remember how heralded Jesus was. If Christians weren’t so irrelevant and actually lived their lives in relevant reverence of God, then people would see that only God should be worshiped. Biblical Christians know that God has healing power and they walk in that healing power. They administer His healing power. They testify to His healing power. That’s life changing. That’s eternal.

The football game is now over.  The undefeated Titans just lost. Now thousands of fans are upset with them. Now they are held in less reverence.

God never loses. He never makes mistakes. His will and timing are perfect. The Father, Son and the Holy Spirit are the undefeated Team. Hold Them in reverence. Worship Them. Do everything you can to encounter Them.

Don’t set your sights and desires on the idols of this world. They will only disappoint you.

May I Have Your Signature Of The Divine?

May I have your autograph?

An apparently harmless question asked countless times by countless fans to countless people of fame.

I remember standing in line for hours to get autographs from popular college football stars growing up. I waited with heightened anticipation for the scribble proving that I’d met somebody famous.

Fast forward a few years and I find myself standing in line once again to get an autograph from a few of my favorite famous musicians. I recall plotting the exact time to exit the concert so I’d get in the signing line early enough to make sure I’d get an autograph and not have to stay too late.

As I waited impatiently for the line to diminish person by person, I planned out exactly what I was going to say once I got to the front of the line.

“Hey. I love your music. It’s impacted my life so much,” I’d say, as confidently as I could muster. “Could I get a picture with you?”

*snap* The camera captures a moment in time.

My time is up. The line continues moving. I quickly scan the tiny preview screen on my digital camera and scrutinize my pictoral proof that I just met someone famous.

“Ugh..I look terrible in this picture,” I think to myself. “But wow…they…they look awesome. They always look awesome.” *gasp* “Wow, they put their arm around me. I’ve got a picture of me with this famous person and they have their arm on me. They touched me. Wow! I’ll remember this forever!”

As I walk away, I turn my scrutiny to my conversation with the famed musicians. Upset with myself that my words sounded stupid and shaky, I begin to beat myself up over what I said. And what I didn’t say. “I’ll do better next time,” I assure myself. “Hey, at least I met them.”

Have you ever found yourself in a similar scenario?

I think at one point everybody’s wanted somebody’s autograph. Favorite athlete, musician, movie star…whatever.

Not only do individuals pursue autographs in person, but record companies, distributors and websites use autographs to sell product. Particularly in the music business. A consumer is more apt to buy a CD if it’s got an autograph. CDs are automatically of higher value if they’ve got someone’s name scribbled with a Sharpie.

Going further, fans will spend tens, hundreds, thousands and even millions of dollars on raffles and auctions vying to win an autographed memento.

With all this waiting, money spending and anticipation, normal people are made into marketable business commodities.

I don’t know about you, but I see something wrong with that.

When exactly did people become product? When did it become ok to yearn to have somebody’s signature? When did all of this idolatry sneak in? And why does nobody see autographs as a form of idolatry?

I can hear Satan taunting me now, “Lindsay, this blog is stupid. You’re overreacting. It’s just an autograph. It’s harmless. Your friends are going to think you’re dumb for writing this. They’ll ridicule you. Don’t make such a big deal out of this.”

Well, if Satan’s telling me not to write this, then that means that writing it is exactly what I should do.

I’m totally cool with people meeting other people. By all means, stand in line to meet somebody and have a conversation with them if that’s the only way that you’ll ever meet them. But don’t put them above God. Don’t focus more of your attention and admiration on a person more than you focus it on God. When you fixate on anything more than God, that’s idolatry.

I love meeting new people–yes even famous people. But recently my motive for meeting others has changed. Instead of wanting to meet someone just to have the bragging rights that I met them, I now desire to meet Christian people so I can listen to them talk about their passions and desires in life.

I no longer desire someone’s hand-written autograph. I do, however, want to encounter the Signature of the Divine. Each person who has a personal relationship with Jesus, is marked with the signature of God.

“13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” — Ephesians 1:13-14, emphasis mine.

Instead of striving for someone’s printed autograph, invest your energies into encountering God with every Christian person that you come in contact with. Familiarize yourself with the Signature of the Divine in others. And, whenever possible, show the Signature of the Divine to those in your life who don’t know Jesus.

May I have your Signature of the Divine?