September 06, 2007

Fame and Fortune Really Are Unhealthy

Two weeks ago the happy go lucky and popular comedic actor named Owen Wilson tried to take his own life. It is an all too familiar tale with the wildly famous and rich being so depressed that the only way to find relief is to kill themselves.

The fact is, being famous is not easy, nor is it healthy. According to Salvo magazine, the average life expectancy of the typical American is 77 years; that life expectancy drops to just 59 years for the rich and famous. "Having it all" apparently comes with a heavy price.

We, the normal people of the world, who tend to struggle to meet the daily needs of life, usually scratch our heads at such stories shaking our heads in disbelief thinking, "They've got everything the world and money has to offer. What's the problem?"

Solomon, writing in Ecclesiastes set out to find what exactly makes for the "good life." And so he made a test of the pleasures of the world with the means to do so. His conclusion is straightforward. "So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind." (Eccles. 2:17)

It may seem cliché but the fact is the only thing lacking is a relationship with the Living God and is everything. Everything without God, is nothing, as the stories in the news and the funerals of the famous attest day after day.

Augustine said it centuries ago. "Our heart shall find no rest until it finds its rest in Thee." Simply put, God is the only one who can make sense of life and give it meaning and enjoyment.

This was another of Solomon's inspired conclusions. "Furthermore," he writes, "as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God." (Eccles. 5:19)

See, there's nothing wrong with fame or fortune but apart from a healthy friendship with the Creator, it will come up empty every time--and the more you strive, the more despairing you become. And that is God's mercies saying, "Here I am. Come to me and I will give you life; not just in the hereafter, but here and now."


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