A week ago I attended the National Prayer Breakfast and wrote my reflections. Much has been said about the breakfast from all sides, politically and religiously speaking. Sitting through the entire breakfast and hearing all the speakers gives me my own perspective. I’ve heard so many thoughts of what was said that I rewrote the blog and this is round two.
Much attention has been given to Obama’s remarks that morning. There have been articles written and videos appearing on You Tube; but, I have not seen any material printed or spoken connecting his remarks with what the other speakers said at the breakfast. NASCAR celebrity, Darrell Waltrip, was the main speaker and he gave a moving testimony of his journey of faith and his relationship with Jesus Christ. More than once he mentioned that in his past he was on a “high horse,” believing that all the world centered around him and that he could do whatever he wanted. In his response to the main speaker, Obama made the connection that we all can be on moral “high horses.” Our religious beliefs can excuse our actions, even if they are evil and hurtful. Yes, he mentioned that a list of evil actions have taken place in the name of religion, including ISIS and the Crusades.
“Moral high horses” and the Crusades have come trigger words in the press and the public reactions. Obama’s comments made sense in the context of the morning prayer breakfast. We can all get on our moral high horses and hurt others. There are some who have tortured and killed in the name of religion. My shock has been at the the people defending the Crusades. Maybe I missed something in all my years in school and reading, but I have never heard that some of the events of the Crusades were Christianity’s finest moments.
Obama affirmed Darrell Waltrip’s very clear faith journey. It was freedom of religion at its best which we often take for granted in our country. Now I am a card carrying conservative and have no need to make flowering remarks about our current administration. LET ME BE CLEAR, my thoughts today are not about the political or religious views of our President. My perspective, however, was a clearer picture of how the press or individuals can take what they think or heard that someone said and go to town, altering it to give it a desired slant. This happens on both sides of the spectrum. It is heartbreaking since it trickles down and spreads as gossip. People say that something is true because “so and so,” who was not even a part of an event or situation, says it is true. Perception becomes reality.
This happens at more than prayer breakfasts. What is it about human nature where people feel they have to take sides and then slander or tell lies to make their point? There is such a need to be “right”. Snippets of information, or hearing a “trigger” word, can send individuals down a path where truth becomes foggy. Gossip and slander become weapons to make our case. This happens in our countries, governments, churches, families, and relationships.
What is my takeaway from this event? I want to be slow to judge and stamp the label “fact” on issues when I do not have all the information. I want to extend grace where there are issues I do not understand. Finally, I want to recognize that when I pass on information ( even if I think I have all the facts) it can be a conduit for gossip and slander.
“Don’t bad mouth each other friends. It’s God Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind if talk. You’re supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it.” James 4:11 (The Message)
The National Prayer Breakfast was started by President Eisenhower in 1952 as a time to pray for our country. There is no doubt that our country and government today need lots of prayer. This is true for our government and our individual lives. We can pray, that with Gods help, we can first look at ourselves and our own shortcomings. Are we a part of the solution or part of the problem? This is a good place to start before I start evaluating others.
4 thoughts on “The National Prayer Breakfast”
You expressed yourself very well, Lindy. I watched the entire event and agree with your point. it is sad to me that there wasn’t more coverage of Darrell’s talk and Dr. Brantley’s beautiful prayer. It is so true how we take our perceptions and run with them. I always find it interesting how several people can hear the same information but come away with a different perspective. I know I need to ask the Lord to give me His ears and eyes in order to hear and see from His point of view. keep up your great writing.
Well said Lindy. I heard similar report from another who attended. Felt remarks were totally taken out of contexts! Thank you for your insight! Jd
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A very fair and honest message, Lindy. Well done.
Thanks for giving us this very clear evaluation.