16 August, 2006

Remembering the King

August 15, 1977: I was crashed at the home of my best friend after a heavy night of partying in which I was in no condition to try to make it home, even though I lived one block away. This was a scene that was all too common for me in my youthful ignorance. I thought I was having the time of my life. My days were spent sleeping until noon or 1:00 PM then get up, get cleaned up and eat and go to work at 4:00. I'd usually get off work around 1:30 AM, and the next couple hours were spent swallowing pills in numbers that would boggle the mind and drinking vast amounts of alcohol usually until I passed out. Looking back I cannot believe I was wasting my life like this at 18 years old. Anyway, this was once again the scene on that fateful August day, when suddenly the voice on the radio awakend me. "Elvis Presley is dead." I was not sure I heard that or if I was dreaming. I lay there waiting for the next song to end and then they news flash came again, detailing the death of "The King." I was stunned. I was glued to the radio for the next half hour as they talked about his death and played some of his records. I got up and left Tab's house and walked down to my house, even though my car was sitting in front of Tab's house. I remember that day like yesterday. Aparently, so do many, many others.

Yesterday was the 29th anniversary of the death of Elvis. Fox news reported that thousands of faithful fans made the pilgrimage to Graceland to pay tribute to the King. I was reading one of those reports and I thought to myself how warped and twisted we as a people have become that thousands of people will spend huge amounts of money and waste their time to go stand in front of the home of a dead man holding a candle, as if there is some spiritual connection to be made or something. People spent thousands of dollars to send flowers from around the world to line the drive way curving in front of Graceland, not to mention the millions of dollars spent since 1983 to tour Graceland. All this for "The King" who is dead and will never know that any of this went on, and has gone on every year for 29 years.

I find myself thinking what a shame that people will pour their time, their money and energy into memorializing this man they called "The King" and then scoff at giving their time, talents and money to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Twenty-nine years after his death, people talk about this man with reverence and awe, yet they use the Name that is above all names as a word to curse others. I wonder how these same people's lives would change and how much of an impact they could make in this world if they were to direct this passion toward Jesus Christ? I wonder if they were to take the same amount of money that they spend to memorialize Elvis, and use it to further the message of Jesus, what kind of diffence could be made. Sadly, many of them "worship" a dead man named Elvis and they will never know the joy and fulfillment found in meeting the real King.


Sean McKee said...

It is easy to pledge allegiance and worship a 'king' that asks and requires nothing of you.

Jesus said "follow me". He said "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."

ruthrap said...

I remember when Elvis died........yes, it was sad, but sadder yet was his life...he admitted that he was a lonely, lonely man. He had great talent and was loved by many, but I believe in his heart he was a sad individual who lived a life surrounded by people who revered him but never found the love he was seeking, for whatever reason.. he appeared to be a spiritual person and could sing gospel like no-one else--we can only hope he knew the Lord..I liked Elvis, he was really popular in my younger days, but he wasn't The King and I don't think he really wanted to be. sorry for rambling and you made a very good point about who we should be looking to as King...I see so many young people idolizing actors and singers to the point of obsession and Sean was right when he said it's easy to worship those who require nothing(except attention and dollars!) God requires us to obey and do His will--most just don't want to go there!