Aladdin, Prince Ali song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEryAoLfnAA
One of the best Disney movies is Aladdin, which is getting live action redone that comes this year. If you don’t know the story, Jafar is the evil advisor to the sultan. He is trying to gain the magical lamp with the Genie to take over the kingdom of Agrabah. He uses street rat Aladdin to enter the cave of wonders and retrieve the lamp. While doing this the cave collapse, sealing Aladdin inside with the lamp.
Using the Genie’s magic to get out, Aladdin wishes to become a prince, so that he can marry the princess of Agrabah, that he fell in love with at the beginning of the film. And his introduction is an amazing song and dance entrance.
But everything starts going off the rails, when the fame becomes more important than the truth. And it’s because Aladdin isn’t truthful with the princess when he should be, that causes his relationships with his friends to become strained, he ends up losing the lamp, and only be the skin of his teeth does it all turn out alright in the end.
I use Aladdin’s story to bring up the idea of being famous. Now in the past, I have said, a lot of us want to be famous, and I have had teens say to me, “Oh I don’t want to be famous.”
Well, I got the stats for you to say, “yeah, you’re probably lying to me if you say you don’t want to be famous.
In 2017, a survey was taken by a website called the dailymail online. Now it was of teens in the United Kingdom, but another survey back in 2009 showed that the trends of developed countries, like the US and the UK are usually statistically similar. So what did the daily mail find out?
The top 5 jobs that teens want to get in the future are, YouTubers at 34%, Blogger/Vlogger at 18%, Musician/Singer at 16%, Actor at 15%, and Film Maker at 13%. That means 96% of teens want to be in a role that will bring them fame. This doesn’t include the overlap of TV Presenters, or Athletes. We have a desire to be known by people. Why? because who wants to live their lives as if it didn’t matter?
We don’t want our lives to have no meaning. This is especially true if we look around us and see people who’s lives seem to make no difference. Or if we are shuffled to the back of the family. We have a sibling that seems to get more love from our parents or grandparents. We have other kids around us that seem to be smarter, stronger, better at things, and we want the recognition.
In the band Imagine Dragons, their song Thunder picks up on this idea.
Just a young gun with a quick fuse
I was uptight, wanna let loose
I was dreaming of bigger things
And wanna leave my own life behind
Kids were laughing in my classes
While I was scheming for the masses
Who do you think you are?
Dreaming 'bout being a big star
They say you're basic, they say you're easy
You're always riding in the back seat
Now I'm smiling from the stage while
You were clapping in the nose bleeds
We tend to want to make ourselves known, but what will that get us? Momentary love of others, until we’re no longer useful. Sure you have people like Beyonce, who is going strong in her career, but for every one that makes it, hundreds even thousands are left behind. Still hoping for their shot.
But God desires a different fame for us. Jesus said, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it (Matthew 16:25).”
One of Jesus’ disciples, Paul, wrote this at the end of his life, “6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing…18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen (2 Timothy 4:6-8, 18).”
Paul realized what true fame was: not to be known by the world, but to be known by God.
People want to be world famous. And some have reached that status, but others are more well known than any of the actors, or youtubers, or bloggers of today. Paul is one fo the most quoted men of history, and all he did was talk about Jesus.
This is the fame that lasts, not that the world knows us, but that God knows us, And when we find this fame, then we find purpose, we find contentment, we find life.
As we begin this new year, I would ask you, where are you seeking your fame? From this world, that is fleeting? Or from God eternally?
Let’s close on the song, Yours (Glory and Praise) by Elevation Worship.