Youth Culture Window

Madonna… Searching for Something?

I was channel surfing the other day and saw Madonna on the news. CNN’s Richard Quest was interviewing her about her children’s book and politics … but the conversation strayed:


    •  A final thought. If your daughter decided to prance around the stage in her underwear, singing and hollering, would you approve?


    •  If she was an adult, there’s, you know, not a lot I could do about it. She would be free to make that choice.


    •  Would you approve? If she behaved like you, if she mirrored your life to some extent, as a mother, who’s now essentially found a spiritual way of life, would you approve?

Madonna started to respond … but then pondered the question for a moment. Five seconds of awkward silence passed. Then she finally spoke.


      •  Probably not.

    (CNN Wolf Blitzer Reports, Aired November 15, 2004 – 17:00 ET)

    I confess … I was surprised to see her admit that. But this isn’t the first time Madonna has revealed her heart in an interview. Madonna is typical of this heartbroken, hurting generation. Even though she seems like she’s pushing God away … she has realized that she’s missing something … she’s searching for something.

    I talk about this in my book, Do They Run When They See You Coming?. Years ago in a Vogue interview she talked about her struggle with feelings of inadequacy:

    “I have an iron will and all of my will has always been devoted to conquering some horrible feelings of inadequacy. I’m always struggling with that fear. I push past one spell of it and discover myself as a special human being of worth and then I get to another stage and I think I’m mediocre and uninteresting and worthless and I have to find a way to get myself out of that again and again. My drive in life is from this horrible feeling of being inadequate and mediocre and it is always pushing me, and pushing me and pushing me. Because even though I have become somebody, I still have to prove that I am SOMEBODY. My struggle has never ended and it probably never will.”

    No matter how much “the unchurched” seem to want to push away God, secretly they are searching for something to fill the emptiness in their lives.

    I know, I know. You’re thinking, “What? Madonna interested in God? ‘Like a Virgin’ Madonna? ‘Papa Don’t Preach’ Madonna? ‘Kiss Brittany’ Madonna?” You might even conclude, “Empty … yes! But ‘looking for God?’ No way!”

    But even the most die-hard atheists are secretly looking for an anchor. Lee Strobel (Author, A Case for Christ, A Case for Faith) attests to this. I asked Lee, an ex-atheist, about this in an interview I had with him:


      •  In that book (Harry & Mary), one of your points was that “people are morally adrift but secretly want an anchor.” An encouraging point to those of us sharing our faith- because of the ramifications- “people want something more than the empty life they’re leading- whether they admit it or not!” Yesterday you shared that, as an atheist, you felt like something was missing. But because you didn’t want to feel guilty about your behavior, you used to use your atheism as an excuse for your actions … ?


      •  Well I think that atheists … in my experience, have some intellectual, and sometimes considerable intellectual issues involved with Christianity. But often those are used to mask underlying moral or emotional issues that, I think, were both true in my case. I think the questions I had intellectually were legitimate, but at the same time I used them, not as a platform to pursue truth, but a defense mechanism to keep Christianity away. So it didn’t infringe upon my morals or cause me to deal with emotional issues that kept me away from God.


      •  So when you wrote that point about “secretly wanting an anchor,” was that strictly from your life or did you observe people having this up front shell, but underneath feeling empty?


       Well, my friends in the newspaper business who lived very raucous, wild lives- as a person- I think really deep down inside, they were coming to the realization that this is not the path to happiness. That it was not leading them where they want to go. And yet they knew nothing else but to continue to pursue it. And I think down inside they were looking for some framework for their lives- some anchor for their lives. And, um … some have found it and many of them haven’t.

    The “unchurched” are looking for something. Unchurched kids are searching to fill the hole in their heart. They are trying to fill that void with things that don’t belong there like possessions, popularity, drugs and alcohol. But nothing works. So they continue to question.

    The harvest is ready.

    Are we ready to reach out to them?



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    Jonathan McKee

    Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for parents on his website Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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