“I said, You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High, but you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.” Psalm 82:6-7
A few weeks ago, a noted sports celebrity died in a helicopter crash. It was Sunday morning and I turned on the computer to look at the news. I read the article and was in shock. I then told my husband and he felt the same way. Afterwards, I began to analyze my feelings about his death. Why was I so shocked by it?
The more I thought about it, this verse came to mind and I realized why I felt the way I did. Those among us, the best and the brightest, those that receive the most notoriety; we place them in a different category than ourselves. Unconsciously, we give them Superhuman status, a god-like status. We start to believe they are different from the the rest of us, that somehow they are immune to the same laws of physics that we are.
When a John Denver dies because his plane crashes without fuel or when a John Lennon dies because he is shot, we are in shock. We wonder, how can this happen to them? Surely, they are better than we are and they will not have to suffer the same fate as we do. When a famous athlete dies in his prime, we cannot believe it at first. Surely, his pilot could have navigated in thick fog without ground mapping radar. But alas, it is not true.
As I said before, we do not do these things consciously. The more media attention a person gets, the better they are in their field, the more gold medals they win; we begin to elevate them to a god-like status. We would do better if we could hold a more realistic view of them. The Scripture says, “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever.”
In the end, they are after all, human just like the rest of us.