I’ve noticed something disturbing this year when our heroes or celebrities have died. But first, let me be clear when it comes to grief and loss. I get it and understand. I felt sadness when Jimmy Stewart died about twenty years ago. As a lifelong Eagles fan, I felt loss regarding Glenn Frey. Having grown up on television shows from the sixties and seventies, the death of Bernard Fox brings grief. And now, an icon of American and film culture, Carrie Fischer, is gone. It’s right to feel sadness even though most of us do not know these people personally.
Here’s the problem. Too many anchor their souls to a sports, film, or music celebrity. This goes well beyond grief and loss. When Prince died, some could barely cope even though they never met the man. The same occurred with John Lennon and Michael Jackson. Facebook fills with mourning even for fictional characters dying in The Walking Dead. They really did not exist in the first place. The issue is not the grief. The issue is where one anchors their soul.
Our heroes from any scope of life seem devoid of faults. Reality is different. For today’s elite, most of their lives are train wrecks of drugs, abuse, and ruined relationships. And, all they really want from fans is their money. Keep downloading those songs and seeing those movies. They don’t care about their fan’s problems or life issues. They don’t mind if the messages of their media causes heartache and ruin. The hard reality that will annoy some reading this: They don’t love you like you love them. (To be sure, there are some good ones out there; I speak generally but would not be surprised if the good ones are in minority).
The issue again is anchor. Do you anchor your life and soul to another faulty human being? That anchor WILL fail. It’s not a question of if but when. Love and appreciate what the rich and famous do if you like, but do not trust them. So, who can we trust?
The Apostle Paul was clear in Philippians 3. He considered all that glitters to be a pile of crap. There is only one anchor of the soul, Jesus. Phil. 3:14, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” He never beat his family. He never succumbed to drugs. He rejected fame. He does ask more than money. We need to give him our very lives. But, he returns new life. He defeated death once and for all. So while our heroes fall from grace, he never did nor will he. You can bank on that anchor. Feel your grief if you must. Grief over loss is appropriate. But, never anchor your peace, joy, contentment on such a brittle foundation of a silver screen star, a music idol, or a sports icon. They fail. Most of them are not even real.