Psalm 139:15-16 (The Message)
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God-you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration-what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
There are two life-transforming events that I never thought I’d see in my lifetime – the election of a black U.S. President and the death of Michael Jackson.
As a lifelong fan, I was weaned on the Jackson 5, harassed my parents until they purchased “Off The Wall,” came of age to “Thriller.” As a young girl and well into my teenage years, I had always been encouraged by the fact that I was only 10 years younger than Michael Jackson, because that meant I wasn’t too young to one day marry him. Born into a blended family of 5 brothers, with the youngest present being 13 years my senior, Michael Jackson was my brother, my first celeb crush, and in many ways, my inspiration. I was certain that he would live to be a ripe old age. I envisioned him “retiring” much as Frank Sinatra had, performing at his own lifetime achievement award ceremony. In my mind, he’d be older but still able to flick that knee and rise on those toes. Older entertainers never stop entertaining, they just move a little more slowly.
Like the rest of the world, the news of his death shocked and saddened me. And I realized as I do from time to time, that I don’t know anything. I have no idea how each day will start, let alone end. I do not know which day will be the last for my loved ones or for myself. But God does.
The Psalmist tells me that before a single day of my life was lived, every moment was already recorded and God-ordained. This means that God has always known when I’d be born, when I will come home to him and every event in between. And if this is true for me, it is true for every other human being, including Michael Jackson.
So as shocked as we all were by the death of our beloved, God was not the least bit surprised. He has always known – everything. My hope is to live my life in such a way that my priorities line up with his, so that I do all of the really important things before it’s too late. I am determined to prayerfully say all of the true, kind, and necessary words I can find to those who are in my life right now, as well as to share Christ’s love with everyone I meet, because tomorrow is not promised for any of us.
Did Michael Jackson die too soon? The answer is “yes” and “no.” He died to soon for me and probably for you as well. I had planned to enjoy him much, much longer. But the fact remains; God knows best. And ultimately Michael Jackson left this earth exactly when he was supposed to – in God’s perfect time – not man’s.