Fame

I’ve always heard that fame, fortune or females can cause a guy problems. Not sure it’s a fair thing to say, but I’ve often heard that.

I do know that my main female (Chris) has not only NOT brought me down, but continually lifts me up….but hey, that’s not the thought I was going to share.

The first time I spoke publicly (and someone listened) was in our little church in Colorado Springs in 1992 the week before we left as a family to Beirut. I had never been asked to speak anywhere before. I was 30 at the time.

The most famous person I knew was my dad.

I had never seen more than a couple of thousand dollars and didn’t know anyone who would be called a “Millionaire.”

Not only was I not famous, I didn’t know anyone who was or anyone who knew anyone who was famous.

I can remember sitting in churches thinking “I wonder what it’s like to be able to stand up there and talk to all of these people out here and actually make sense?” I wasn’t asking the question of myself – just a general thought. I never knew an author – well the first was probably Ted Dekker (and I tried to talk him out of it when he suggested that he wanted to write).

So it feels funny when people “know me.” They’ve heard me speak. They listened to a CD or read my book – or seen some articles. And they know my name. I don’t always know theirs, but they know mine. They say nice things like “I like listening to you.” Or “I bought several copies of your books and passed them around.”

But, strangely, I’ve found the loneliest place to be when I travel. More and more, I can’t wait to be home. I’ve never been accused of being a home-body. Hardly. But I really have a handful of friends, and my family, who know me. Really know me. And it feels good to be known.

Fame (being “known” by a large number of people) is not bad – it just is. But it tries to fill the void of being “known” and doesn’t succeed. It’s fun having accolades and fans – I think I have a whopping 25 people who now follow this blog – but I need to know and be known.

And I love that it’s Jesus himself who knows me best. It’s not always comfortable knowing that, but it’s good. And may I never trade the false “known-ness” of a large speaking deal for the realness of my closest friends and family….and Jesus!

Comments

  1. Neil says:

    Carl,

    Can I get your autograph?

    No, seriously, great post and good thoughts.

    And I love your comments on Jesus. So true. Fame, Fortune, and Females are nothing in comparision to being right with God.

    (Of course, my wife Amanda is an incredible gift from God. I wouldn’t be who I am today if she wasn’t the godly woman that she is!! But, I too, digress.)

    One of the many incredible and profound things Jesus said was when he told his followers that he no longer calls them servants, but instead calls them friends.

    They had followed Jesus for years, but along the journey they truly came to know him and they were friends.

    I still remember the first time that I really began to know Jesus and friend and understood that he also knew me as friend. At that point fame, fortune, and females just didn’t have the same power that they once had.

    May my journey with Jesus of Nazareth never slip into me becoming the “religious guy.”

    I’ll pray for you and you pray for me.

    Neil

  2. Krissy says:

    “Fame” can be weird from both points of view, actually. It’s weird because the relationship is one-sided–and thus not really a relationship, of course. Sometimes I feel almost like a stalker when I follow someone’s blog every day, or listen to all their online talks, or whatever. Of course I’m not a stalker–it’s just that the one-sidedness of the relationship can feel a little creepy. Once, when I was living in Europe, I was heading to the subway and saw a guy who looked familiar. I couldn’t quite place him (I’m generally not quick to place people’s faces), but I knew I recognized him, so as we passed each other I smiled and said “Hi!” He just kind of nodded his head and hurried past. A few minutes later I realized that he was a stand-up comic and I only recognized him from TV! My point being that, as weird as it may be to you when people “know” you, it’s also kind of weird to us that you don’t know us back.

    If there’s any kind of application from what I’m saying here, maybe it’s that it must be really unsatisfactory for Jesus to know us so fully if we’re not, for our parts, trying to get to know him. Or, worse, when we THINK we know him because we’ve heard something he said or something someone said about him, but we haven’t actually tried to get to know him. Just a thought.