Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Treating God Like A Famous Person

I can't remember a time when I said to myself, "Hey! A lot of very famous people live in Nashville," and then felt excited at the thought of running into them. Once, Carrie Underwood walked by me in a store where I worked and I didn't notice her, despite her picture on the cover of the magazine directly in front of me. I would not be here telling you this story if my friend Bruce hadn't brought it to my attention. That's how much I don't think about it.

However, I am human, and have experienced a "star-struck" feeling at least twice in my adult life. Once, I stood next to Patrick Stewart in Vancouver. Even then, I enjoyed the moment a little too late. I didn't realize it was him (because he stands about as high as my shoulder) until someone called his name and he replied "Over here" in that spectacular accent.

Then there was the time I found myself standing next to John Davis of Superdrag in a crowded bar. He looked up (also a shorter man. I guess I'm most impressed by people shorter than me) and said, "How's it going?" Instead of saying something normal and friendly, I panicked and asked him if he'd let me through to the bathroom. 

We've all wondered what we would say or do should we meet someone famous. I'm sure we have. At least once. Some people think about it more than others. I know because I met them on the Rachel Leigh Cook Fan club message board.

But why? Why do we want to meet famous people so much? Considering the quote referenced in this post, would it have been ironic to feel giddy if I met pre-death Joe Strummer? It's hard to tell. The definition of irony has blurred a little in our culture. 

Fame is so weird. You can't measure it. You could argue over a person's ability to produce or commodify fame, but I probably wouldn't agree with you. I think it's most like a currency. Its worth is determined by the faith or value given to it by people. 

This could be why I've never really liked the song "You are the Lord, the famous one." I know it's accurate in the sense that a lot of people know about God. Still, I can't shake the feeling it describes God as if He were on the cover of Self Magazine (although, maybe that would be fitting?). If meeting Patrick Stewart and John Davis says anything, I don't want to treat God the way I treat famous people. Would I not realize He was there? Would I panic and go to the men's room? 

Is it possible that some Christians treat God like a famous person? Do they think about what it would be like to meet God someday, but not really feel comfortable meeting Him in real life? Is it more of a fantasy than a relationship for them?

Just wondering. What do you think?

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