Back in the late 60’s and early 70’s my sister Joyce and I used to go out to the airport to watch the airplanes take off and land, and to walk around the terminal, just for fun. I was in my early teens and this was before the days of increased airport security; back when we day-dreamed of flying somewhere; back when life was simpler, and back when the main airport in Indianapolis was known as Weir Cook.
So, one day while we were walking around at the airport, my sister recognized Bobby Gentry of “Ode to Billie Joe” 🎶 fame, standing near one of the counters. The airline had lost her guitar and my sister talked with her about it. I barely recognized her, even with her signature poofy hair-do, but I was definitely impressed after I realized who she was. I remember thinking it was so cool to actually see someone famous in person. Her song, “Ode to Billie Joe,” was an amazing piece of storytelling about a boy who died jumping off a Mississippi bridge, a girl who secretly loved him, some mysterious circumstances, and her family who spoke of his death with casual indifference while eating dinner.
Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, or talking on the phone with several different “famous” people. I’m sure everyone has a few. Some of mine include,
• Jerry Mathers and Tony Dowell of Leave it to Beaver fame at a dinner theater (Beef and Boards) meet and greet photo-op in Indianapolis.
• Mel Torme (“Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”🎶) when he stood right behind me at the America The Beautiful Circle-Vision 360° Movie at Walt Disney World.
• Robert Ulrich (Dan Tanna in the crime drama series Vega$, and Spenser in Spenser for Hire) on a telephone call one day when I booked several flights for him and his family to/from Florida, while working for Delta Air Lines in Tampa.
• Gary Collins on a telephone call discussing his wife’s (Mary Ann Mobley) reservation, while I worked at Delta Air Lines in Los Angeles.
• Ed Begley Jr. (Ghostbuster’s, St. Elsewhere) in a little store onboard a tour of The RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, California.
• Henry Winkler (The Fonz) photo-op with my daughter Megan at a Dallas children’s hospital.
• Yakov Smirnoff (Soviet-Born Comedian famous for the phrase ‘America: What a country!’) photo-op with my daughter Mackenzie and me in Branson, Missouri.
• Thomas Kincaid, “Painter of Light” photo-op with Harold and me after we purchased a Hometown Morning Limited Edition Canvas in Longview, Texas at a Thomas Kincaid Gallery Event.
• Bob Barker when I was a contestant on The Price is Right TV show in Los Angeles.
• Jay Leno photo-op at a Tonight Show taping in Burbank where my daughter Megan and I talked with him before the taping. He called us “The Dove girls.” 🕊
• Ben Affleck at a Tonight Show taping with my daughters Michelle and Megan, where he came over to say, “Hello,” and to shake our hands.
• Robin Thicke photo-op at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, when he came over to speak with me and my daughter Megan after a show taping.
• Robin Roberts photo-op at NYC Times Square at a GMA taping.
• Jason Mraz photo-op in Los Angeles at an American Idol Finale with my daughter, Mackenzie.
• NASCAR drivers, Rusty Wallace, Dale Earnhardt Jr (with my grandson Landon), Danica Patrick, etc. photo-ops at TMS (Texas Motor Speedway)
• Willie Robertson photo-op at TMS.
• Marie Osmond when she and I spoke on the telephone on two scheduled QVC/Nutrisystem TV show call-in’s. She called me “girlfriend” and a “silver fox.” 😂
• Meghan Linsey (from The Voice) at a Nutrisystem photo shoot at a Tampa advertising studio.
So, out of the above list, how many of these people have you heard of or remember?! If you’re around my age, maybe most of them? 🤔 But if you’re young, there’s a good chance you haven’t heard of any of them. Ha! Actually, I think it’s pretty likely that after a generation or two, most people who’re famous for one thing or another, eventually sink into obscurity along with everyone else.
Which brings me to the main point I’d like to make. In reality, we are all just people. Being famous for something doesn’t make a person any more special than anyone else. While a famous person may be a great actor, artist, musician, or athlete, etc., in the eyes of God they are equal to people who cannot act, paint, sing, play an instrument, or play sports, etc. Eventually no matter how famous a person may be during their lifetime, “this too will pass.”
The Bible tells us that,
“God created man in his own image,”(Genesis 1:27) and “there is no partiality with God.” (Romans 2:11)
Yet He is not partial to princes, Nor does He regard the rich more than the poor; For they are all the work of His hands. Job 34:19
The Bible also reminds us that no matter who we are, famous or not, our life on earth is relatively short.
Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. James 4:14
And no matter who we are, all of our days are numbered.
As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, And its place acknowledges it no longer. Psalm 103:15-16
Most importantly, the Bible warns us about holding people, places, or things (idols) in higher esteem than God. God is to be honored above all things and to be worshiped in “spirit and truth.” (John 4.23)
Those who regard worthless idols
Forsake their own Mercy. Jonah 2:8
“You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3
Ultimately, the most important person we will ever encounter in this life is Jesus Christ. Everyone else pales in comparison.
Jesus Himself reminds us,
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” Revelation 22:13
Have you encountered Him?
I have, and am here to say if you have not yet came into an authentic relationship with Him, through repentance and faith in Christ alone, please do so today, before it’s too late.
And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh;” Genesis 6:3
So while it is fun to meet interesting and famous people along life’s highway, the Bible reminds us that we’re to keep it in proper perspective. Don’t be overly impressed. Celebrities put their “pants 👖 on one leg at a time, just like the rest of us.”
Instead of just thinking of the fun and excitement of encountering someone famous, maybe God is calling us to pray for that person.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 1 Timothy 2:1-2
And what if,
God has a specific purpose in mind for you that relates somehow with a particular person or event.
Put on your thinking caps. 🧢
Better still, pray about it. 🙏🏻
And be careful about what impresses you.
Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment. John 7:24
Interestingly, my sister’s and my early love of going out to the airport all those years ago, led both my sister and me to get involved in the aviation industry. My sister got her private pilot’s license, including a commercial rating, which she held for several years. As for me, I worked for 30 years in various capacities in the airport/airline industry. First at a small airport, Eagle Creek Airpark, and for two airlines, American Trans Air in Indianapolis, and Delta Air Lines in Tampa, Los Angeles, Jacksonville, and Dallas.