Yesterday morning, following a mighty thunderstorm in north central Texas, Joel Osteen spoke mightily to his faithful in Houston and across the globe.
A quick aside: Anything ever written in this blog related to religion is strictly my opinion and is never an endorsement. I like to remain as open-minded as possible when it comes to matters of the Spirit. And, in the spirit of good 12-step advice, I try to “take what I need and leave the rest.”
Focus on the message, not the messenger
Lay aside any opinions you may have about Joel Osteen because three words–a total of 14 characters counting spaces–he spoke during his talk/sermon yesterday are much more grand than even his presence.
Osteen said, “Do like Daniel.”
He went on to tell the Old Testament story about Daniel getting unceremoniously tossed into the lion’s den by King Darius in Babylon. The story goes that old Darius, who thought Daniel was pretty cool, was tricked by some of Daniel’s enemies into passing a law that decreed no one was to worship any god or man other than Darius the king for 30 days.
Daniel, who was 80 at the time (hmmm, didn’t know that fact), continued to worship the God of his faith in spite of the decree. The king had little choice but to throw him to the lions. By the way, Rev. Osteen referred to 100 lions but I didn’t fact-check him.
The next morning, after Darius spent a worrisome and sleepless night, he went to the lion pit and found Daniel sleeping. Duly impressed by Daniel’s unfaltering faith, he made a new decree that everyone should worship Daniel’s God. (Remember: Take what you need and leave the rest.)
How can you “do like Daniel?”
The story is, after all, describing one man’s ability to weather any storm or condition or event. I mean, seriously, does it get much worse than a tribe of hungry lions?
The lions are a metaphor for the situations in our lives that threaten our deepest faith in ourselves, and more importantly, our faith in whatever power we believe is greater than ourselves.
I think there are some pretty simple ways we can “do like Daniel.” Here are a random few; I’d love to hear more from you because I’ll bet you’ve had at least one or two den-like experiences. Be sure to mention them in the comments section below.
Focus on positivity: Figure out a way to begin every day this way
Think thoughts on purpose (another Joel-ism): Be deliberate and intentional with your thinking
Find a method or manner of quiet-time each day: Prayer, meditation, bubble baths
Let it all go: No matter what she said or he did to you, no matter the mistakes and missteps you’ve made, forgive it all.
Believe you are good and worthy: God don’t make no junk, y’all.
Have a supercalifragilistic kind of week. Don’t forget to DO LIKE DANIEL and tell us how you do it!
Photo courtesy of Sgarton