"There's a way of life that looks harmless enough;
look again - it leads straight to hell.
Sure, those people appear to be having a good time,
but all that laughter will end in heartache."
There have been so many celebrity deaths lately and I can't help but think of this verse when I think of them all. I am, in no way, saying I think these celebrities are in hell - only God knows their hearts and where they stood with Jesus. But, I do know that the way they lived their lives was hellish.
- Former Weezer bassist Mikey Welsh died from a suspected drug overdose in a Chicago hotel room.
- Amy Winehouse - lived a party lifestyle, drinking and doing drugs and was only 27 years old when she died.
- Mike Starr was the original bassist in rock band Alice in Chains and suffered from a heroin addiction.
- Elizabeth Taylor was married 8 times in her life.
- Yvette Vickers was found after she had been dead for nearly a year. Imagine - no one notices your missing for a whole year? What a lonely life!
- Michael Jackson who spent his life trying to change himself and basically living in hiding.
- Whitney Houston who battled a drug addiction for most of her career.
Their lives, outside of the addictions, divorces and lack of self-esteem looked pretty harmless. They were having fun making lots of money, gaining lots of fame. But, their lives were a pathway to hell. Alcohol, drugs, failed marriage after failed marriage, hating themselves. Was there even a time in their lives when their laughter was real? Or were they living in utter heartbreak? Of course, I can't know as I am not them, but I can say that aside from the insane amounts of money they made, our lives are not much different.
When we go after fame and fortune, our focus gets skewed. We think, "If I just have this amount of money, I'll be happy." If we're fortunate enough to get the amount of money we think we need, it doesn't take long for us to start living outside of our means and then we think, "If I just have this amount of money, I'll be happy." And for some of us, if we can't find happiness in money, we turn to outside things to make us happy - maybe we fall into drugs, alcohol, shopping addictions, sex, etc.
But, none of it brings true joy. Our lives become empty - a living hell. That's why we need Jesus. Jesus is the only way to true joy. And with Jesus, I can have joy in the midst of turmoil - because my joy doesn't come from outside things. It comes from within - the Holy Spirit who lives inside of me.
So, other people can have all the fame and fortune their hearts desire. My heart desires one thing and one thing only. To be in relationship with Jesus Christ. Without him, my life leads me straight to hell.