Lord, you know my ways try me and test me. Last week, prior to finding out about a death about one was with Hosanna a couple of months ago, I believe God was was giving my revelatory insight about two celebrities in the secular world. The first one was River Phoenix. When I was a kid, I remember watching a coming of age film called Stand by Me. In the film, Phoenix plays the paternalistic friend. Something about his performance made me feel that his pain that he expressed was not solely acting. Years later, I read about his biography and his untimely death in the Viper Room. To the world, who found out that he died from an overdose, it was a shocker. He was a humanitarian on the exterior who had an uncanny love for animals and the planet. But, the pages of the book revealed that to his immediate friends and family, his drug use was common knowledge. Phoenix, had a troubled childhood being apart of a cult that perverted the Words of God and needless to say Phenix was molested by persons of trust. Albeit, he did try to hide it (his drug problem). I feel like God did give him various times to come clean. A lot of people were reaching out to him to get help, his girlfriend even broke up with him because of his issues. But to him, his drug use was not a concern. He was a man of contradictions - publicly denouncing the very drugs that became his closest friends. Finally, I felt like God said "time's up" after years of people repeatedly reaching out to him. What alarmed me when Phoenix took his drink that would lead to his death was that no one called 911 . It was a period of 5 minutes after Phoenix started convulsing, that his brother finally decided to call 911. His phone His family was there, there was a crowd in the club and yet everyone was in hysteria and shock. The paramedics even stated that if they arrived 5 minutes earlier they probably could have revived Phoenix. You never know right. You say one drink or smoke or whatever and it could be your last.
Sometimes, I do think about these things because the world makes these things look so enticing. Like, sometimes I'm like God give me 5 more years, let me have a little 'fun'. It was very easy denouncing such acts in highschool, I even tried to help my friends out of it like I was some sort of Dr.Phil. It was fun, having people come to you with your problems. However, when you go to university it's a whole different ball court. It's so pervasive and acts of debauchery seem to be normalized... surely I can't save everyone right. So sometimes it is tempting...how does a Christian have good fellowship in such a way-side world, but that's for another post.
I was also considering some new-age hippie stuff. Like Yoga;I know the devil is really trying to tempt me because from time to time I run into these mediation club posters (courtesy of Hare Krishna club). I'm so stressed sometimes that I do consider going and being like forget this God thing. But, God led me to another casualty. For those who are familiar with girl groups in the early 2000's, TLC was the "bomb" (do people still use that?). The band was one of the best selling girl groups of all time, but the group was never the same once Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes passed away. She died in a car crash whilst in the Honduras. But, adopting the role of Sherlock Holmes I researched extensively about her life. What I learned was that Lisa was into the occult. She had issues like everyone. Her dad died at a young age and even though he wasn't the greatest father it really affected her. So, from the age of 15, she was battling with alcoholism. She had some troubled relationships, which in some cases went outta control. An example of this was when she burned her boy friend shoes, but that inadvertently led to the burning of her boyfriend's mansion. When she went to Honduras with the intention to get rid of those inner demons she was battling. For a month, she would go on a strict herb fast and meet with a 'spiritual doctor' named Dr.Sebi (watch until 3:55 of the clip). She was into deep mediation, numerology and astrology. She even plastered a big 'evil eye' in the room she was staying in. However, what alarmed me was when Lopes revealed that she felt that spirits were after her (during her stay in the Honduras, Lopes had a film crew capturing her final moments - obviously they all did not know that at the time). Whilst in the Honduras, her car hit a little boy. The boy ended up dying, however what fixated Lisa was the fact that the boy and herself shared the same last name. She believe the spirits meant to get her instead. When she died 3 days shy of when she was supposed to leave, she was the only fatality in the accident out of nine people despite wearing a seatbelt.I can't help but feel that Lisa inadvertently opened herself to spirits which ultimately wanted her demise...
For a more Christian example there is a particular fellow who stayed at my church for a couple of months. I didn't really get to become too close with him, but the months prior to him coming I remember my senior pastor stating how it was a big deal that the individual would be here. I figured he would make a huge impact whilst he was here. However, like most people his motives became diluted with the cares of this life (To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God. Luke 9:59-62.”), so he ultimately went back.
I can confidently tell you that no one anticipated that in a mere matter of months that the individual would die, so suddenly. I was in shock. I remember asking my youth pastor, whether or not it God's will for him to leave so early; he didn't seem to be at the peak of his ministry yet. I don't want to state that his departure from Canada led to his death. However, as I've tried to displayed in this article is that choices can be detrimental, costly. Something seemingly nonchalant can be life-threatening. It's sobering to be honest, I hope we don't take things lightly and learn to seek God.
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4: 14)