This past weekend we drove to Houston for our two daughters to audition for America's Got Talent. Any success on that show is highly unlikely, but my husband and I, raised by practical parents who encouraged us to obtain practical degrees and practical jobs, have always sworn we would give our children every opportunity to pursue their passions, no matter how impractical. During the car ride down there we discussed everything from the likelihood of them reaching the first level of the competition to how we would spend the million dollars if they were, by some act of God, to win.
Speaking of acts of God making people famous, sometimes it works, according to last weekend's Wall Street Journal article, "God at the Grammys: The Chosen Ones." According to the article, the difference between mild success and wild success is believing that God has divinely appointed one's future and has a plan for some performers' super success. Citing examples such as Elvis Presley, who was found dead while reading a book about Jesus; Christina Aguilera, who said, "All of this isn't something that I did. It's something that is totally there for a purpose"; and even bad boy rapper, Eminem, who said, "God sent me to [expletive] the world off," and claims he believes in and prays to God-it seems anyone who wants to be someone would be amiss to leave out the divine element.
Belief in God, according to the article, doesn't prove there is a God "guiding the destiny of these stars. But it does suggest that unshakable confidence and a powerful sense of purpose are good predictors of success." In other words, it's not about an actual gifting or calling that God is giving and blessing, but about the psychological power of believing a divine being has infused you with the talent and ability to be a megastar.
After watching the Grammy's in our hotel room Sunday night, my girls were sober. So was I. No amount of success is worth selling one's soul or purity for, nor should God be used as a lucky rabbit's foot. At the same time, being successful in the entertainment industry isn't necessarily wrong. If God has given a talent, burying it in the sand is a slap to His face. Parents of children inclined to pursue "stardom" would be wise to remember a young Britney Spears saying she would never let fame go to her head.
No matter how my girls do in this particular competition, I want them to remember that, yes, God gives talent and brings opportunity to some, and at the same time He says no to others. Regardless of which camp they are in, at no point should they give Him laud just to invoke a genie-in-a-bottle type of uber-blessing from the Almighty.