Hollywood and entertainment fans alike are mourning the tragic suicide of Sam Sarpong. Sarpong shockingly jumped off a bridge to his death even though police and family begged him for seven hours to change his mind.
Sam Sarpong was a supermodel and actor. He represented famous designer brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and walked runways for Versace, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Donna Karen. He was MTV co-host for “Yo Momma” and had many other TV and film credits to his name. He achieved won’t so many of us want – fame, riches, and notoriety. Yet he was clearly miserable inside.
I don’t pretend to know what was going through Sarpong’s mind. I’m sure more information will continue to trickle out in future news cycles. I also don’t want to minimize the seriousness of mental illness. It is a growing crisis in our country and people need professional help to get healthy. But I do know one thing, happiness and wholeness does not come from what society tells us – fame, riches, wisdom, pleasure, careers and relationships.
King Solomon wrote an entire book of the Bible on this very issue stating repeatedly, “Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” (Tell us how you really fell Solomon.) But we have all experienced this sense of meaningless and desperation in our lives – whether it is in sickness, death, relationships, work, or depression.
Solomon came to the conclusion that it was impossible to find truth and peace inside himself or in his outside accomplishment and relationships. We would be wise to learn the same things ourselves. Meaning, purpose and identity in life only makes sense if we are eternal beings who were created for a higher purpose.
We are told from the start of grammar school that humankind exists because we are an accidental collision of single-cell organisms. This is the most depressing thought to tell a child because it robs each of us of our intrinsic value and hides our purpose and identity in the eternal perspective.
God states authoritatively that “I have made everything beautiful in its time. I set eternity in the hearts of men” and that God “created your inmost being; He knit you together in your mother’s womb.”
God also says to his children, “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and future, but first you must call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29-11-13)
You may be really struggling with life right now. We have all been there. Don’t despair. Society will tell you that the peace and truth can be found within yourself and the purpose you self-create. But when we all look inward we rarely like what we see. We know that our own short-comings, weaknesses and inner demons will never bring us peace and truth. We all know if there isn’t something better than “us” we are all screwed.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life” and He said we could find “rest” in Him. If you have looked inward for peace and truth and been frustrated with the results I encourage you to look upward.