Fame Anyone?

“Everyone will have fifteen minutes of fame,” said artist, Andy Warhol’s prediction. I am not so sure about that, for any famous people I know who would just wrap their arms around me. Instead, they would say, “Who are you?”

However, let us consider this fifteen-minute allocation. With over six billion people inhabiting the planet, awaiting our turn to bask in the world’s spotlight could take up to 170 000 years, a significant challenge to anyone recalling who we are or our reason for claiming their attention.

Then again, what if our allocation competes with thousands or even millions of other folks’ fifteen minutes. Nevertheless, who gets to allocate these fifteen minutes? Was it Warhol, pausing to toss a scrap of recognition our way while he enjoyed the art world’s adulation during the 1960s Pop-Art era?

Fame may point recognition, special courtesy, privilege, or respect in our direction. But seeking fame can blind us to its downside, denying us any freedom to be more than what others constantly expect of us.

Actors can become so typecast that fans dismiss their skill at taking different roles, while superstars find almost no chance of privacy away from the arena, the screen, or the playhouse, as the paparazzi stalking their every move. Fame is a poor substitute for significance – a sense of value that does not depend on how much attention we attract. Moreover, significance is what God had in mind when he made us and when he visited our planet as one of us through Jesus.

Jesus showed ordinary people like us how great and available God is, regardless of our status or skills, as his ministry brought healing and hope to people who were hurting. His teaching still casts light and clarity into confusion, conflict, or self-deception, and his death and return show how deeply he values us, so no one can ever be insignificant.

He also invites us to get to know him, enabling us to enjoy the significance he places on us and everyone else. This relationship reshapes how we see other people, not from externals that produce fear, superiority, or resentment, but from seeking to help them to discover their significance as they also respond to his availability for them. Since his offer extends over a lifetime and beyond, it tends to make looking for a mere quarter-hour of fame seem just a little bit pointless.

  • Noel Mitaxa, for New Life Aus, 18 July 2022
  • Image by Brandi Alexandra on Unsplash