In a recent edition of Forbes Magazine, writer Henna Inam asked many of the hard questions that we all ask when we hear about successful, smart, and famous people taking their own lives. Each time we ask “why?” Why did Robin Williams, Whitney Houston and so many others end their lives so tragically? Why do some of our own friends or family members choose to do the same? Inam’s article ends with a quote from Anthony Bourdain: “Without experimentation, a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, moribund.”
Bourdain searched for new and exotic places, foods, and people and televised them for the world to see. The problem was that they were all focused on this side of eternity. He talked to the poor, the ordinary, the important, the intelligent, the successful, and famous. But I wonder if he was ever curious enough or thought seriously about experimenting with a relationship with Jesus?
There are physical deficiencies that cause many to be depressed. I have a thyroid disease that can cause depression. Fortunately, mine is treatable but I understand what it’s like to experience frustrating depression. Thankfully in my case, I have an understanding of the root cause and know how to deal with it. But depression is not only caused by physical issues but by mental and spiritual issues which are growing in epidemic proportions today.
We’re beginning to move into an age of hopelessness, and futurist Bob Johansen, tells us that “Young people who are digitally connected but hopeless will be dangerous.” The Center for Disease Control’s research reveals that depression is increasing not only in adults but in children. Teens are killing themselves and shooting their peers in schools as a result of anger, depression, and abandonment. And the overall prevailing feelings of hopelessness has the power to spawn acts of terrorism as never before in history. Sadly, in our digital age, we’re all watching as these violent acts are flashed on our personal screens as fast as they happen – further adding to more fear and hopelessness.
My prayer is that we will eventually become brave enough to give God a try. That more and more will be willing to take a chance that there just might be real answers in God’s Word. The Bible says, “For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:32-33).
Medicine and therapy are important, but far too many stop there. Others search for wealth and fame or look for answers in self-help books or social media. But the ultimate answer is to seek the Creator of our souls.
Research reveals that most people in the United States own four Bibles in their homes, yet only six in ten have ever opened one and even fewer read them regularly. For most who acknowledge God, few spend time engaged with Him in prayer and Bible reading.
The question is – is it time to get curious enough to crack open it’s cover and take a chance? Perhaps more important: have you introduced those around you to Jesus? The simple act of starting that conversation with a loved one in trouble could be the start of a transformed life. It’s so simple, and yet most Christians will spend their entire lives without telling a single person about the God of the universe.
I don’t know if Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, or other recent victims of suicide had Christian friends. But I have decided that I will not be the one that misses a future opportunity with someone to ask questions of me about my faith and provide “the reason for hope” with “gentleness and respect.” (I Peter 3:15).
Kathleen Cooke’s devotional “Hope 4 Today: Stay Connected to God in a Distracted Culture” encourages readers to engage with God. As co-founder of Cooke Pictures (cookepictures.com) and The Influence Lab, she publishes a monthly newsletter (influencelab.com/women). Follow Kathleen on Twitter, Instagram or FaceBook @KathleenRCooke