Posted by Peter Lundell (Reverend/Author) on Facebook
Kim and I don’t normally sit next to famous people on airplanes, but there we were next to the one and only O.J. Simpson. No, we didn’t ask for his autograph. And we only took the photograph because Kim wanted to, and as I’m writing this post, I’m glad she did.
We elected not to make judgments or treat him like a celebrity. Mr. Simpson said that through his years of trials, he had a genuine encounter with God.
He spoke like a true believer.
We told him about ourselves, and he answered my question about how Fantasy Football worked. He described the lucrative market for the most famous professional athletes who sign their autographs on footballs, baseballs, and basketballs. He encouraged Kim to have her knee operated on—he’d had both his done and now, in his seventies, walks five miles a day. And we prayed with him.
In the eyes of the world, he was famous since he was recognized as a football prodigy at only nineteen years old. He went on to be one of the most famous players of all time, and then he passed into infamy with the crime and the “trial of the century.”
I treated him the way I knew God would—and the way he seemed to understand and accept himself—like any other person being redeemed, who needed God just as everyone else did. This inspired me.
Throughout Scripture we see prophets reminding kings of their mortality and of God bringing kings down when they forget. The unwise who have riches and fame tend to allow them to hyper inflate their egos. And the unwise who don’t have those things tend to glorify those who do by identifying with them as fans in a vicarious fantasy.
The wise, whether they are rich and famous or not, know that before God they are like dust. They know that their true identity is founded on faith and character—an equal opportunity. And believers are best off: We know we don’t need to be great because we believe in a great God. We know we are precious to our heavenly Father because we’re his, and this in itself gives us sufficient meaning and value as people.
In your ordinary life, do you see yourself as being significant and loved by your heavenly Father?