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The void: Thoughts on the Oscar nominated film, 'A Star Is Born'

A Star is Born remake
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in the film remake, "A Star Is Born." |

Tell me somethin', girlAre you happy in this modern world?Or do you need more?Is there somethin' else you're searchin' for?”

You may recognize these lyrics from the Oscar nominated song, “Shallow,” which is featured in the movie, “A Star is Born”, featuring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, who both were also nominated for their lead roles in this film. This is the fourth time “A Star is Born” has been made into a movie, starring big names such as Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. Perhaps the reason this story keeps making its way back is because there is just something so familiar about it. We’ve all seen it play out in real life so many times as well, haven’t we?

In this version, which is the best in my opinion, Bradley Cooper portrays a hard-drinking, drug using musician named Jackson Maine. He discovers an extremely talented woman named Ally, played by Lady Gaga, while she was singing in a drag bar. Jackson falls madly in love with her and helps launch her music career. As Ally’s fame begins to rise, Jackson falls deeper and deeper into treacherous drug use, fueled by his jealousy of his discovery.

In one of the most powerful scenes in the film, Jackson calls Ally out on stage to perform a song she wrote alongside him, and she begins to sing:

Tell me something, boyAren't you tired tryin' to fill that void?Or do you need more?Ain't it hard keeping it so hardcore?”

We have all felt this void before, haven’t we? Even Lady Gaga herself has spoken of it in her own personal life. In an interview she once said, “I would go back to my apartment every day and I would just sit there. It was quiet and it was lonely. It was just my piano and myself. I have a television, and I would leave it on all the time just to feel like somebody was hanging out with me.”

It surprises us that superstars like Lady Gaga feel the same things we do, doesn’t it? But here’s the bottom line: stars, just like the rest of us, must come face to face with the same emptiness, loneliness and reality of their own mortality. There is no amount of fame or influence that can separate you from these feelings, and of course, you can’t pay your way out of death. It’s something we all will face.

After Bradley Cooper’s father died, he did an interview with USA Today, where he mentioned that his father’s death caused him to address his own mortality. He went on to say, "Oh right. I am going to die too. It is not in a book. It is not in a movie. It is not in a story that was told to me. It is not driving by an accident or watching it on TV. It is someone you love dying in front of you. I was like okay, this is death, and this is going to happen to me one day".

At some point in life, we all have been empty, lonely and afraid to die. I read an interesting thing about what time is like in comparison to your life.

If your age is 15, it is 10:25 in the morning in your life. If you are 20, it is 11:34 in the morning. If you are 25, it is 12:42. If you are 30, the time of your life is 1:51 P.M. If you are 35, it is 3:00 in the afternoon. If you are 40, it is 4:08 in the afternoon. If you are 45, it is 5:15 in the evening. If you are 50, it is 6:25. 55 is 7:34. If you are 60, the time is 8:40 p.m. If you are 65, it is 9:55 p.m. If you are 70, it is 11:00 at night. I don't know where that puts you, but I am around 10:00 in the evening.

Yes, I am a pastor, and please, don’t hold that against me. You are probably expecting the sermon at this point, but I will spare you that ... because I am also a sinner. I’ve had this same void in my life before, too. I tried to fill it with the same things others do, including booze and drugs, and guess what? It didn’t work. After searching and searching, I finally filled that void with a relationship. No, not with a person, but with my creator.

Life really is a lot like a puzzle. My wife loves those things, and I have absolutely no interest in them at all. The other day we spent hours putting one together, and of course, we were missing one piece at the end. We got down on our hands and knees searching for that thing, and after a while, we finally found it. In life, we may feel like we have all our puzzle pieces in the right place, but then we realize something is just missing. It’s more of a someone. God holds the missing piece you are looking for, all you must do is look up.

God loved you so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross for your sins.

Three days later, Christ rose from the dead.

Now, Jesus stands at the door of your life and He knocks.

If you will open the door of your heart, Jesus will come in and fill that void.

You have His word on it. (Rev. 3:20)

Stop looking around today and look up instead. You will find all that you need.

To find out more about knowing God, go to

Greg Laurie is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, with campuses in Riverside and Irvine, California.

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