Well, everyone and their mother has done a post about Anna Nicole Smith. So, why not me? Her picture has been plastered on every TV, magazine, and newspaper cover. We sit fascinated by her train wreck of a life and discuss every detail of what might be true as if she were one of our high school buddies with whom we had lost touch.
The truth of the matter is that Anna Nicole Smith lived a very empty, confused life. She may have seemed glamorous to some, enviable for her looks, wealth and notoriety. However, it was all an enormous lie. Behind the makeup and mansions, she was simply a lost soul, trying to fill her life with all the wrong things.
The question is: Why has American culture become so superficial and vapid? Does our continued drift away from God and Faith lie in our inability to meditate beyond the thin exterior of popular culture?
While Anna Nicole Smith represents the extreme end of the vapid spectrum, it doesn't take much scratching at the surface of popular culture to see that there is very little beneath it.
There is a void of genuine contemplation in our society. We sometimes work ourselves up into political frenzies regarding a multitude of issues, but that seems more of an avoidance of individual and national introspection than it seems to be heartfelt concern for the good of the world. We bicker over the size of planes and search for any situation that can be twisted into ammunition against one another. We protest; we jibe; we make snide remarks; all the time avoiding an honest effort to look deeper at our own lives and responsibilities to God, others and ourselves. Even when we muster interest in something other than ourselves, it is at the behest of an uber-celebrity-such as Bono, Oprah, or Angelina. We simply support their causes as another way of admiring them as our icons.
There are millions of people whose lives resemble Anna Nicole's. They are not famous, have no money, and can't afford the plastic surgery to look like her, but their lives are cut of the same troubled cloth. They/we will never find satisfaction and purpose living at that superficial level. There is always a tugging of the spirit for more than what this world offers. When we ignore that pull-or answer it with sex, money, or fame-we set our lives on fire without realizing it. Flames consume all that is important to us while we stand idly by, wondering how this fire got started and unable to put it out.
We miss the unseen vastness of the eternal. We focus only on the things before us that have little to offer.
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creaor-who is forever praised. Amen