Insanity. That's about all you can say about the past week since the revelation of the death of Michael Jackson. Tributes, remembrances, and the like have filled almost every TV station on my Dish Network, and I'd had my fill of all things Jacko by last Friday to be honest. But now that things are starting to wind down, last night I found myself in a moment of deep sadness. Michael Jackson is gone. And its a tragedy. It has absolutely nothing to do with his accomplishments or the adoration of the millions (billions?); nothing to do with his stature or place in history. My feeling was linked to the reality that death is coming for each of us, and it wasn't supposed to be this way. We spend our lives going from stimulation to stimulation. We assign importance to things that will surely fall away and be forgotten. We act as though our lives have purpose and that our actions are for an honorable purpose. But if we are to be truly honest, we have to admit the truth that we will all end up in the same place. All of our stories, regardless of their magnificence and splendor, will all end in tragedy. It will all end up as disaster in the end and none of us can escape it.
That is why I was sad. Michael is gone and he's never coming back. It wasn't supposed to be like this. The deep purpose I feel in my soul will someday become nothing more than a sick joke, and a forgotten joke at that. If I am destined to become forgotten, how can I live with ANY real hope. How can I find ANY real purpose for anything? I know it sounds cliche, but my only hope rests with Jesus of Nazareth. Say what you want about religion and whether you believe in a God or not, but the single greatest reality of my existence is my impending doom that I cannot avoid. I must admit that my silly and foolish belief that my life could be anything other than a cosmic folly is that greatest evidence that I have no idea what I'm doing or talking about. I'm a fool. So I find myself looking at all things through that lens, as it is the greatest common truth of my life. And the only way that I can find a reason to get out of bed in the morning is that about 2000 years ago, a group of a few hundred Jews laid their eyes and hands on a living, breathing man who had been dead only a few dozen hours earlier. It sounds insane, I know. But acting like Jacko was anything really special, or that you and I are anything special, is the greatest insanity I can imagine.