There are better days ahead. I know that. I sometimes forget that though. I get lost in my misery and can’t see the sun shining on the rooftops.
Yesterday I went to church – online. I can’t afford the gas to go to a regular church so I do online church. It’s quite convenient actually. You can choose to attend a live stream with the praise music, the prayers, and the filler moments, or, you can view past sermons without all the hub-bub. A stripped-down sermon with just the meaty juicy truth. I chose the stripped-down sermon.
It was centered on the book of Daniel. I am, in fact, working my way through a series focused on the book of Daniel. This episode was on chapter two. The pastor labeled this installment “Crises”. It covered the events of Nebuchadnezzer demanding that his wise men tell him about a dream he had. And he wanted them to tell him what the dream was first of all and then interpret the dream for him. The chief astrologer told Nebuchadnezzer that what he asked was impossible, only the gods could know what the dream was and they didn’t share that information with mortal man.
Nebuchadnezzer was very wroth and ordered the killing of ALL of his wise men, including Daniel and his friends. But, Daniel was wise and asked the guard if he could speak with the king and ask why the hurry? The guard accepted Daniel’s request and soon Daniel was facing Nebuchadnezzer. When the opportunity arose, Daniel asked the king for some time to take care of this challenge and the king granted Daniel time.
Back in his quarters, Daniel came together with his friends and they brainstormed and decided to pray to the Living God and ask him for help. That evening Daniel was given a vision of the king’s dream and the interpretation. The next day he went to the king and the rest is history.
The crux of the message the pastor was trying to convey is this: How you act in times of crisis does not “define” who you are, but instead, it is a reflection of who you are. There is a key difference between the two. Your character is not defined by crises it is revealed by crises. Your character is shaped and molded through time, through your daily experience. As you go through each day you are given opportunities to choose and your choices, accumulated, shape who you are. So it is important to make deliberate choices. Choices that are the result of careful thought and reflection.
You don’t expect a child to make tough choices, but you do expect them to learn from their mistakes. And why do we not expect adults to have learned from their mistakes and make informed decisions? Aren’t we adults better equipped for considerate thought? Shouldn’t we be making better decisions than we did when we were young? Shouldn’t we rely on rational thought rather than emotions?
So, if we want to act rationally in moments of crises, we must harvest good decision-making practices. We must continually strive to learn from our mistakes and learn to judge a situation with keen eyes and a thoughtful understanding. Daniel showed that. He did not panic and get all emotional when the heat was on. Daniel, cooly and calmly, addressed the situation and was rewarded with his life. He went on to be one of the most powerful men in the kingdom.
Let’s try and remember, it is not circumstances that define our fate. It is the choices we make in those times of crises that reflect our character. And our character is shaped by the choices we make on a daily basis.
Please feel free to visit these online resources for bible study and worhsip.
Crossroads Community Church – scroll down to see the message library.
Indian Rocks Baptist – Current series link
Faith Church – message library
Just a note: I don’t ascribe to any one denomination. I think most all have merit. And if you want to turn me on to your church, please, feel free to offer suggestions. I will be happy to include the information in future posts.