I've been doing a lot of thinking about Robin Williams recently. Certainly, there is a long list of celebrities who have been in the news for this very issue--Heath Ledger, Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, Tony Scott, Mindy McCready, Chris Farley, Owen Wilson, David Strickland, and many more.
In his book Facing Lonliness, J. Oswald Sanders writes, "The round of pleasure or the amassing of wealth are but vain attempts to escape from the persistent ache...The millionaire is usually a lonely man and the comedian is often more unhappy than his audience."
Now, when the rich and famous have struggles and deaths, it makes front page news. Yet, the fact is that there are millions struggling all around us with that "persistent ache." Millions are trying to quell that ache by filling their lives with money, pleasure, possessions, fame, etc. All things that cannot ultimately bring healing or satisfaction--regardless of how much of them you have.
Moreover, there are millions battling depression or other personal demons. I wonder how many I pass each day without even knowing it. I wonder how often I miss a chance to share some of Christ's love and hope because I am too wrapped up in my own busyness and selfishness.
I've purposed NOT to do that any more. My goal, starting now, is to go into each new situation (a restaurant, Wal-Mart, church, my son's ball game, what have you) and pray this prayer, "Lord, if there is anyone who needs you here; if there is anyone who is struggling; if there is anyone who is on the verge of making a negatively life-altering decision, let me go to them and show your love and care."
Will you join in praying that prayer? I hope you will