Slow Down. Stop. Turn-Around. Believe.
Fame does not equal happiness. Fans cannot fill the void. Success is not the source of joy. Chemicals may mask the pain but the hurt never heals. Speed brings blur – not focus in life. The fast lane is crowded. The current is strong. Casualties are daily. Real lives become vital statistics. People turn into pictures. Achievements become history. Left for future generations are memories.
The name Kurt Cobain may mean very little to you but to millions around the world, his name is cherished as a music legend and the authentic definer of grunge. Nirvana, the band Cobain started in a little garage in Seattle with his school friend Krist Novoselic soon exploded onto the world stage. After their first album ‘Bleach’, their next album ‘Nevermind’ sold two million copies in the first year – not 50,000 as anticipated. ‘Nevermind’ knocked Michael Jackson’s “Dangerous” out of No.1 spot on the charts. Since then the sale of Nirvana albums has passed the 50 million mark. Kurt Cobain and his band Nirvana sped across the world stage so quickly. Just three fast years in the public eye.
Pain came into Cobain’s life at the young age of 9 when his parents divorced. On the wall of his bedroom, he wrote: “I hate Mom. I hate Dad.” He referred to the hurt and anger often with his memories of bouncing around from home to home – parents, relatives, and friends. He was anything but happy. If his musical and artistic ability were the outlets to vent his deep-seated emotions, heroin in 1990 became the chemical to numb his pain and mask his lostness in life.
Sadly, rock stars living life in the fast lane don’t have a good track record of slowing down on life’s highway to make critical choices to change course. Tragically, it seems that for many, it is a self-destructive accelerated rush to the end. Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix sped down life’s highway until they hit the young age of 27. Many of Cobain’s friends recall him saying that he would join the “27 Club”.
Fame and success around the world only deepened Cobain’s darkness and intensified his trapped feelings. He once said he felt “imprisoned by success.” Years later, when his wife Courtney Love decided to release personal notes and Cobain’s jottings on napkins and restaurant placemats, the reality of his tortured inner despair was only confirmed.
Was there no answer for such inner emptiness? Was there no remedy along life’s highway that could have brought peace to Kurt Cobain? Was he travelling too fast? Could he have, in the speed of life, passed by the solution for his life? What about the cure for your aching inner void? What are you using to mask the lack of peace or to run from your past?
If only Kurt Cobain had turned around and looked at the sign behind him, he could have found the peace and healing he so desperately longed for and needed. Have you ever stopped long enough on life’s highway to consider Christ and what He can do for you?
On tour in Rome in early 1994, Nirvana’s frontman overdosed on 60 tranquilizers. He survived the coma. But on April 5 or 6th, 1994 the young blond-haired, blue-eyed rock star wrote a little note saying he couldn’t stand to think of his two-year-old daughter Frances Bean becoming “the miserable self-destructive, death rocker that I’ve become.” After writing the note, it seems Kurt Cobain injected himself with a massive dose of heroin and then with a 20-gauge shotgun against the roof of his mouth his 27 years of life came to an abrupt and tragic end.
So many years later, Kurt Cobain still has millions of fans. But he himself is gone. Just twenty-seven short years.
Was peace available to Kurt Cobain? Most definitely! Did he ever repent of his sins and turn to Christ for salvation? That’s not a question we can answer. God knows.
Your life may not echo with the same degree of screaming pain. In contrast to Cobain’s life, your life may seem somewhat tranquil and pain-free. But have you stopped on life’s highway long enough to look at your core emptiness and ponder how such hollowness could be filled once-for-all?
Don’t pass by Jesus Christ! In the speed of life, slow down. Stop. Consider Christ. There were those who passed by His Cross and mocked Him as they walked on by. In Him, they saw no treasure – only trash. His death on the Cross for their sins, for yours and for mine – speaks of the extent of God’s love for sinners. It also reminds us of the seriousness of sin and our total inability to save ourselves from the demise and destruction of sin.
Friend, there is only one way for you to be saved from sin and from eternal destruction: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” Acts 16:31
Heavier than Heaven, Charles R. Cross, Hyperion, 2001
Picture of Kurt Cobain, Tracy Marander, Heavier than Heaven, Charles R. Cross, Hyperion, 2001