Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, is dead at fifty years old. I really can’t remember a time in my life that I don’t remember Michael Jackson. In my early years of grade school, he was already singing with the Jackson Five. “ABC, easy as 123. As simple as do ray me. ABC, 123, baby you and me girl.” (Here is a link to their first performance of the song on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYx3BR2aJA4&feature=related )
Jackson spent forty years in the world’s limelight. From singing with his brothers and a tremendously successful solo career to starring in movies and being an innovator in music videos, Michael Jackson seemed to have it all. In fact, his 1982 release “Thriller” is the best-selling album of all-time at 45 million in world-wide sales.
I’ve seen nothing else on the news today but stories about Jackson. The circumstances of his death. The mourners around the world. Speculations about who will raise his children. Will those holding concert tickets be reimbursed? I don’t remember there being this much hoopla when Elvis died. And yes, I’m old enough to remember.
What kind of legacy does this 50-year-old pop star leave behind? According to Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and President of Sony Corporation, Jackson was “a genius whose music reflected the passion and creativity of an era. His artistry and magnetism changed the music landscape forever.” Yes, all this is true. Michael Jackson was an incredible music talent. A once-in-a-generation kind of star. But what of eternal value did he leave behind?
Jackson’s death has prompted me to think about my own legacy. When I’m gone, what will my children remember about me? Will it be the cheesecake I make for special occasions or will it be the things I taught them about Jesus Christ? When they think about me, will they picture me sitting at my laptop or with my Bible?
What things of eternal value will I leave behind? Will there be lives forever changed because I shared Christ? Encouraged the discouraged? Comforted someone with the comfort only God can give? Or will my life only impact physical, temporal circumstances. I pray not. What about you? What kind of legacy will you leave behind?