Let me tell you a story about two very unique individuals, Keith Green and Randy Rhoads. Now there is a good chance that you have probably heard of at least one of these men but I’m guessing a smaller chance that you have heard of both. Even though these two musicians had some incredible connections to each other their lives took them into completely different social circles that were miles apart.
With only a three-year difference, both Keith and Randy were born in the 1950’s and as children became skilled musicians. By the age of 12, Keith was such an advanced singer, songwriter, and piano player that he signed a recording contract with ‘DECA Records.’ Randy was so talented on the guitar that by the age of 16 he was playing in rock bands and was a guitar teacher for a music school.
By the mid 1970’s, Keith Green and Randy Rhoads were both residing and playing music venues in the Los Angeles area and on their way to becoming celebrities.
Now if you were a fan of heavy metal music, you probably know about Randy Rhoads journey to fame. In 1979 the famous singer Ozzy Osbourne was looking to start a new band. At that time Randy had been with Quiet Riot, a band that was successful in L.A. but had not been able to get national attention. Randy auditioned for Ozzy and was hired on the spot. They went on to record ‘Crazy Trian’ and ‘Flying High Again’ as well as many other hit songs.
Now unless you grew up in certain Christian circles, you probably don’t know that much about Keith Green’s story. As a young man playing in the night clubs of L.A., Keith was on a spiritual quest. Both Keith and his wife were Jewish and after a short time of searching they both accepted Jesus as their Messiah. Keith’s life was radically changed as he now wrote songs for Jesus and devoted his life to following the teachings of the bible. In 1976 Keith signed a record contract with ‘Sparrow Records’ and quickly became a popular Christian artist.
Which brings us to 1982, by 1982 Keith and Randy are both well known artists in their respective fields. As I mentioned, Keith and Randy had some incredible connections to each other but this final connection is almost beyond words. On March 19th, 1982 Randy Rhoads went up in a small airplane for a joy ride and lost his life. The airplane’s wing clipped Ozzy’s tour bus and crashed into a nearby house. Four months later, on July 28th,1982 Keith Green also loses his life from a joy ride in a small airplane that crashes just after takeoff.
To this very day, both Keith and Randy influence and inspire people from around the world. So, what can we learn from these two unique men? Whether we are famous or not, we are all influencing others. Whether we are known by many or not, only God knows how much time we have on this earth.
Psalm 90:12 says ‘So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.'
So, what is the message we are leaving?
Leonard Ravenhill said “Are the things you are living for worth Christ dying for?”
The inscription on the top of Keith Green’s tombstone reads “Gone to be with Jesus.” The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus has made a way for all who believe in Him to have a life full of purpose with the promise of everlasting life. A life devoted to Jesus will have an influence on others that echoes into eternity.
Now is the time to get right with God. We have all broken His commandments but thankfully, God in His mercy provided a way for us to be forgiven. Admit you have sinned against Him and turn away from sin. Believe that God sent His Son Jesus to die as a sacrifice for your sin and raised Him from the dead. Commit your life to following Jesus and have eternal life with God.
Follower of Jesus