Air – Fame and Fortune

The film Air tells the story of the sports company Nike attempting to sign the upcoming Michael Jordan to endorse their latest basketball shoe. One of the guys in the company, Sonny, comes up with an outrageous idea, to offer all the budget to Michael, rather than employing a clutch of sports personalities. And when they finally sit down at a meeting to try and win him over Sonny decides to tell him the truth. He’s going to be the best in the world, and he will be famous, and people will love him and put him on a pedestal, and turn him into something more than he really is. And having done that they will then start to tear him down again. Because that’s what people do.
Fame/celebrity is a monster… it’s the mask that eats into the face, as John Updike once said. So many of us long for it, believing it will make our lives feel important, and so make us feel valuable. But it’s unreal, and when we place our worth on what people at large say about us then sooner or later we are disappointed. People don’t care about famous people, they just want a compelling story that will distract them for a while.
Jesus well knew this, and when his friends returned from a successful adventure (in Luke 10 v 20) having helped many people and seen lots of miracles, Jesus said to them – ‘Rejoice over this – that your names are written in heaven.’ They were known and loved by God, as we are known and loved by God. It was this that would sustain them through the good and bad times, it was this that truly mattered. Those deep places within us, that vacuum which chases fame and fortune, these are the places only God can satisfy. We were made to be in relationship with him, and that’s where we find our home. 

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