Last week while visiting my brother and his family in Southern California, we spent an afternoon in Hollywood. We took a wonderfully scenic drive in the Hollywood Hills to get some pictures of the sign, went to Grauman’s Chinese Theater to see the handprints and footprints of the stars, had pictures taken with a “Buzz Lightyear” and a “Princess” on Hollywood Boulevard, and walked the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame to see the sidewalk stars. We were unabashed tourists filling our phones with pictures and loving every minute of it.
On the Walk of Fame I saw the names of some really big starts, some not-so-big stars, a couple of bands, some fictional characters, and others I knew. The majority though were people whose names meant nothing to me. They may have been really great behind-the-camera people, or they may have been actors/actresses/personalities whose accomplishments have not stood the test of time at least for me. I wondered about the sacrifices all those people must have made so some tourists from Colorado walking down Hollywood Boulevard 50 years after their death would recognize their name and remember them. I want to ask them if it was worth it.
All this begs the question, “Who am I trying to impress with my life and accomplishments? What sacrifices am I making along the way?” There are times when I confess that I try to impress those whose opinion of me is far less important than the ones I am sacrificing along the way. If I am going to be famous, I want to be famous with my wife and kids, with my friends and extended family, and not the nameless, faceless crowd of those who do not really know me.
Not to mention that I would like to be recognized by Jesus with those words the Master uses for those who have invested his talents wisely, “Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner” (Matthew 25:21, The Message).
With whom would you like to be famous, and why?
The next day I heard of the tragic death of Amy Winehouse. It appears that striving for fame and/or meaning cost her her life. I am deeply saddened for her and her family, and pray God’s grace and peace for them.