As a young girl, I was a huge fan of the Jackson 5 and Michael in particular. I liked his music through the '80s, before MJ became better known for his weirdness than his talent. After the sexual abuse allegations, and MJ's own strange statements about sharing his bed with boys (nonsexual, he claimed), listening to his music became more of a guilty pleasure. Was I somehow condoning his behavior by listening to and enjoying his music?
Of course, I knew better, but the thought still nagged at me. I worked around it by choosing to think of him only as he was before the weirdness took control of the headlines.
I had a mild panic attack as I drove home, hearing about MJ and Farrah. Both were icons of my youth, and MJ was only a few years older than me. I got short of breath thinking about my own mortality.
I'm not so sure as I used to be about everything happening for a reason. I'm sure the loved ones of these people are not thinking in those terms as they grieve. However, I am increasingly sure that God gives reason to everything that happens. That even the sad or bad times are redeemed by His grace, and He will help us make sense of things if we let Him.
One of my favorite Bible verses is this from St. Paul's letter to the Corinthians:
"No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it." 1 Corinthians 10:13From this verse, I draw much strength. God gives reason to whatever happens, and He will equip me to deal with it, if I allow Him.
I believe these deaths, as others often do, remind me to live my life to the fullest now. I don't know how much time I have left, and I'm often guilty of letting myself be mired in the past or daydreaming about some unrealized future. My family, my friendships, my church, my career, and so on...and most of all, my Lord and Savior, deserve my full presence right now.
I can't let regret or fear render me inactive. My love, my devotion, my diligence are necessary NOW.
I can't waste time on needless anger or selfish pride. My focus on Christ, and living what I profess to believe is imperative NOW.