As I type this, the massive memorial for Michael Jackson, late pop singer, is beginning, and is being broadcast all over the world in every media format. But I’m not watching it – for two reasons.
The first reason is that I simply wasn’t a fan of Jackson’ s music or his life. When my friends were buying “Thriller”, I was buying other styles of music. It just wasn’t my thing, and it never became my thing. Further, regardless of what one may have thought of his music, his character never impressed me as one that was worth following. So I didn’t.
The second reason is that I’m tired. Why? Because I’ve spent all morning leading children at Camp WannaKnowGod, the Bible Fun Camp at St. Paul’s Church, Nobleton. I did it yesterday, too. And I’ll do it again for the rest of the week. By week’s end, I’ll be totally pooped. And I’ll count it all joy. Why? Because leading people, and especially children, to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour is the highest privilege I can be afforded. I don’t care how much energy it takes – I’ll do it.
I’m putting things in perspective here. People are mourning the passing of an icon; while a death should be grieved, there are people – the news reporters interview these folks – who feel that their lives will barely go on without Michael Jackson. I can understand if his family or even his close friends may feel this way for a time. But fans?
On the other hand, I’m convinced, with the Bible as my guide, that without Jesus, life does not go on. Oh, sure – we live until we stop breathing with or without Jesus in our lives, but after we die – what? I’m banking on the promise of Scripture that I am spending all week teaching children: “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10.9, NIV). I don’t want to find out what eternal life without Jesus could be like. And I don’t want anyone else to find out, either – which is why I have dedicated my life to spreading God’s good news. And it’s why I’m taking the time to teach these kids.
In 100 years, Michael Jackson will be but a memory. But in 100 years, what we did with Jesus will make all the difference. I want these kids to experience new and full life in him. So I’m happy to be tired. But not so tired that I can’t put things into perspective.