Canadian actor William Shatner’s career has spanned seven decades – starting at the age of six in Montreal. He is an alumnus of the Montreal Children’s Theatre. Very early in his career he performed at Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, ON. It was one of those Elizabethan-era plays Tamburlaine the Great that introduced him to Broadway in 1956 – a long time ago!
His real fame came from Star Trek. Shatner was cast as Captain James T. Kirk for the second pilot of Star Trek, titled “Where No Man Has Gone Before”. He was then contracted to play Kirk for the Star Trek series and held the role from 1966 to 1969. Star Trek fans in the 70’s demanded more; and syndicated re-runs of the show catapulted Captain Kirk (Shatner) to cultural icon status.
Capitalizing on the sustained and growing popularity, Star Trek: The Motion Picture made its debut in 1979 and for six subsequent Star Trek movies, Shatner starred as Kirk. Also in the 80’s, he held the starring role in the television series T.J. Hooker.
Shatner’s list of achievements is lengthy. You can do your own bio search on him. The list above is only a fraction of his acting roles. Starting in the late 90’s he appeared in numerous Priceline.com commercials as the edgy negotiator. He has published several books and in recent years, produced music and spoken-word records – as recently as 2013 when Ponder the Mystery was released.
It won’t be a shock to learn that over those seven decades, William Shatner has received multiple awards and honours – including two Emmy awards.
In a candid interview with George Stroumboulopoulos (Strombo) on his CBC Television Talk Show, Shatner intimated he has been plagued with loneliness over all those decades of success.
Loneliness and the angst of loneliness (not just the feeling ‘I don’t know what to do with myself today…’ No, I’m alone. I’m alone in the world. I’m alone when I die. You’re born alone. You die alone — that fear of being alone – of loneliness is always prevalent. (1)
Strombo asked him: “Over the course of your life, how did you manage your feelings of loneliness?
“You manage it by forming relationships. That takes care of the immediate loneliness. In my case, I guess you form it by trying to work as hard and as much as possible to engage an audience and then, their affection, momentary, though it may be…” (2)
In addition to loneliness, another common theme for Shatner is one’s mortality and life after death.
“At certain times in my life, when death was prevalent, when someone near and dear to you dies, you think for a while about your own mortality. And what people think of is: after you die, what’s going to happen? And the older you get, the more topical that subject becomes. It used to be: “Well, I will think about that later. I’m thinking about it now.” (3)
The award-winning actor, author, producer and director was intrigued by Steve Jobs’ last words before he died: “Oh wow! Oh Wow! Oh Wow!” Shatner asks: “What did he mean when he was going out? I need to find out!”
At one point in Shatner’s life, according to sources that compile quotes, he said:
“I envy the people who say, ‘oh, well, I’ve got my name in the golden book and I’m going to be entered into the pearly gates.’” (4)
Shatner’s 2013 spoken-word album entitled “Ponder the Mystery” ponders some deep and serious issues like: pondering the mystery of people’s internal struggle with the good and the bad; pondering life’s absurdity and death’s finality. As you watch the music video, sentences briefly appear on the screen, e.g. “Where are we going? Are we alone? Man is born free but everywhere he is in chains.”
Considering the conversation they just had, George Stroumboulopoulos’ wrap-up question seemed rhetorical: “Do you believe death is final?” Obviously, based on everything William Shatner had just said – he believes he will be going somewhere after he dies – despite the fact, he joked his way out of directly answering that probing question. But where? We conclude – that’s what troubles him deeply. He said he was envious of people who knew they were going to Heaven – aka the pearly gates.
If the only relationships a person has in life are horizontal ones, there’s not a chance they will be in Heaven. To be in God’s heaven after you die, you must consciously enter into a vertical relationship with God in this life. Shatner’s multiple horizontal relationships may have filled immediate needs, as he suggested, but not surprisingly, left him lonely and alone time after time.
It’s one thing to experience aloneness throughout a few decades of life – but can you imagine the unbearable pain of aloneness throughout the eternal ages? All of us, including Mr. Shatner, have been designed with eternity in our hearts. (Holy Bible – Ecclesiastes 3:11 Only God is big enough to fill eternity. Only a vertical relationship with God can ultimately fill that aching and lonely void.
Mr. Shatner, if you have googled your name, and are reading this just now – please open your Bible and read the Gospel of John. You do not need to be plagued by loneliness. You can enter into a vertical relationship with God today by faith in His Son, Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. Yes, at this very late stage in your life, you can finally have inner peace and rest. From personal experience, countless numbers of Christians can tell you – once you know Him – you are never alone. You may lose loved ones and your loss will be intense, but through the darkest storms of life, Christ will be with you 24/7.
One more thing, honoured fellow Canadian, once you enter into a personal relationship with God via Christ, that relationship is permanent and eternal. You have mentioned you’re envious of those whose names are written in the golden book. The Bible calls it – the Lamb’s Book of Life. That book is eternal and those whose names are recorded in that book, will be with Jesus Christ forever. They will never perish.
Yes, there is something after death. For those who have a relationship with Christ – their names are in that ‘golden book’ and they will enjoy Heaven forever. For those who lived their lives on earth and kept God at bay and shunned a personal relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ, they will consciously suffer the eternal consequences. Their names were never entered in the ‘golden book’. There are eight references to such a ‘book of life’ in the Bible’s New Testament. The last two are: Revelation 20:15 and Revelation 21:27.
One of the best-known poems in the Bible – and most loved too, is Psalm 23. It is the experience of one who knows God – a Christian.
A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for You are close beside me. Your rod and Your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely Your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:1-6 NLT
A Christian is one who has consciously entered into a permanent relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ – those who were conscious of their sin and turned to Christ for forgiveness and salvation.
God has said: “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Jesus told His followers after His resurrection: “Behold, I am with you always – to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
Jesus, using the Psalm 23 shepherd motif that’s found so frequently in the Bible, assured His followers:
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. John 10:27-29
If you would like to have inner peace with God, heart-rest, a cleared conscience and be sure of being in Heaven when you die, click here to discuss this further by a confidential email.