The Cardinal Element

winter-2401Anyone who watched the Super Bowl last night would have to agree that it was an amazing game.  The last two minutes packed in so much action that it was breathtaking to behold — including the disappointing, but still impressive, touchdown the Steelers scored in the last thirty seconds of the game.  From the picture on the left you may gather that my family and friends are dedicated Cardinal fans, so the Steelers’ victory was indeed a blow — especially considering the fact that we were still soaring from their dramatic gain over Pittsburgh before that final touchdown.  To illustrate our ardent dedication, the only Steelers’ fan present was promptly thrown in a snowbank when the game ended.  Thus always to tyrants.

Rather than going to church yesterday we did our once-every-two-months Homeschool Fellowship:  a gathering of homeschooled believers in one family’s home.  One of the fathers leads the study and discussion and an assortment of the young people leads the music.  It is a very enjoyable time.  Due to my distraction over the Super Bowl, I did not post a sermon review for yesterday’s “service”.  Today, then, will have to do.

We have been slowly studying Daniel, and are currently in chapter two.  This particular passage details Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchanezzar’s dream.  We talked about Daniel’s faith and virtue, his merit to the kingdom, and his position as a wise man.  Daniel was surely something else.  He was different from the Babylonian astrologers and enchanters, but even among his colleagues he excelled. 

Daniel had something about him that separated him from the others.  It wasn’t a horizontal separation, but a vertical one.  He was not removed from others on a level of personality but on integrity.  Daniel was above and beyond.  This is what kept him at the forefront of current events throughout the reign of three different kings — each of which promised him greatness and riches for his wisdom.  Yet the integrity that gained Daniel his position also instigated his humility and deflection of praise to Almighty God. 

Integrity is a rare virtue in this day and age.  Integrity means you don’t change with circumstance; you don’t manipulate, connive, or weasel your way through life.  You have goals, purposes,  and convictions that are unmoved by the wave of society’s ideals.  To quote a much beloved country song:  “You’ve got to stand for somethin’ or you’ll fall for anything.”  This was Daniel.

This can also be us.  Integrity is a facet of the Christian character that cannot be emphasized enough.  Love and peace sound great, but the nuts and bolts of Christianity come down to how firm a foundation you stand on, and whether you even believe that foundation is real.  Remember, love and peace sounded great in the seventies too, where integrity went out with the doo-wops and poodle skirts.  The Christian faith is not all feelings and fuzzies.  It’s rock-solid. 

The Cardinal element in the Super Bowl didn’t quite cut the mustard, but what’s the cardinal element of your character?  Is it emotion and fluctuating feeling?  Or is it the eternal strength of integrity of heart?  That was Daniel.  Is there a Daniel in you?

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4 Responses

  1. Phylicia,
    Great post! I too, was rooting for the Cardinals. They did so well! Of course they lost, but one of them had to right?! We, here in Arizona, are just so proud they went to the Superbowl, and did well.

    As for this post, excellent. indeed, a man/woman can lose everything, but if they hold onto their faith in God, and live with integrity, they are blessed, indeed.

    By the way, I added your blogpage onto my blogroll. 🙂

    Blessings,
    ~Amy 🙂

  2. I had a cousin rooting for the Cardinals, another rooting for the Steelers. Most other people I know didn’t have a favorite, myself included 🙂

    As for the Daniel – I did part of a study on Daniel. His resolve astounds me. He didn’t push his faith on anyone; rather he let it stand as an example to others.

    I think everyone has a Daniel inside them – the question is “will you let him out”?

  3. Daniel was amazing. What more can I say?

    -Maria

  4. Daniel was indeed one of a Kind. Daniels character epitomize the text “Ye are the salt of the earth “.He made a difference.He stood out not because he wanted to but because he was connected to the God directly. Even the pagan King realise that Daniels God was the God.No pastor,priest or religious leader was there with him .
    He was captive in a strange land yet he stood for His God and His God stood for him.
    These stories are not just tales in the Bible to make life interesting.Inspired stories are in the Word of God because we will face similar trials.
    Phylicia thank you for reminding me that we serve a Big God a personable God and what serving God in spirit and in truth means.

    Amen

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