I saw Piolo Pascual in church last week.
So Piolo may not be popular depending on where you are in the world, but where I'm from, you are probably 1 of 4 people who doesn't know who he is (and 1 of 3 who wouldn't recognize the picture above -- the 2 others don't have TVs). His face is literally everywhere. Billboards of his endorsements, from tuna to perfume to laundry soap, on major highways. Run to the nearest convenience store and his face is on a magazine cover. Turn on the TV and you'd see him on primetime or on an interview talking about his latest movie. It would be a feeble comparison, but he's our version of Brad Pitt, only more popular.
Weeks ago, one of my friends asked me about the church I go to, and when I responded, he immediately recognized it as "the one with a lot of showbiz personalities". And then comes a tirade of questions: Do you see him often in church? Is he with <name of another popular actress here>? Do you ever get to talk to him? Is he better-looking in person? I should definitely go with you!
Obviously that's not the best way to get someone to church. The last thing I want is my friend continuously scanning the room, waiting for some TV personality to show up, or worse, gushing like a schoolgirl when they actually sit beside us.
I would be lying if I said I don't take notice of celebrities in church. I would either sneak a glimpse to see if they look the same as they do on TV, other times I wish they didn't wear that much makeup. I would also wonder what a Piolo Pascual would be praying for when we all bow our heads down and feel God's presence. Would he want another car? I'm sure he's got tons of them. A better-looking body? I don't think he needs it. More adoring fans? 13,000 people liked him on facebook...and that's just on one account. He is Piolo Pascual. He gets major billing on every TV show and movie that he's ever been in. What else could he possibly want and need? It would probably be fun to play Piolo for a night. Wow, what else could I possibly ask for?
Like clockwork, someone posted his testimony online, and I heard it straight from the star's words: "There was something missing in my life."
Missing? What? In the midst of his success, overwhelming fans, riches and awards, he felt alone and empty? And he said it: it was God that he needed, and was able to come to realize that and did not hesitate in accepting His presence in his then-empty and lonely life.
Didn't we all experience that at one point? When we think that a girlfriend, a job, a million pesos or our VISA approval will make us content and happy? In true fairytale fashion, fancy clothes and a handsome Prince Charming will make us live "happily ever after". Or will we? Here, we've seen a live Prince Charming admit that amidst the shiny things he has in his life, it wasn't enough.
Things will never be enough.
And because God is awesome, He also made sure that there are things money or fame will never buy. Time can't be ordered through eBay. We can't pay off our health with credit cards. No matter how famous we are, our hearts can still be broken by unfulfilled promises and failed relationships. Not the richest guy or handsomest man can feel completely complete without things that can't be seen, sold or bought.
Remember what Paul said in Romans 12:2 (NIV): "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
So if you're waiting for that magic chariot to sweep you off your feet, don't think that it can magically change your life forever. No lottery jackpot, Oprah makeover or a celebrity lifestyle can hold a candle to the possibilities that can occur in your life when you live your life according to His will.
Even if you're no Piolo.