As I sat in a room with a mere 8500 other people the energy was tangible, there’s nothing like Oprah to get the excitement level up there! People purchased tickets at astronomical rates to attend Oprah’s first ever Canadian appearance and then lined up for hours hoping to get the best seats on the day of the event!
At times over the course of the experience I felt like a duck out of water, frankly I just don’t have the idolization of Oprah that many other fans seem to have. I respect Oprah, grew up on her talk show and could pen a huge list of her accomplishments both for herself and for her charities. I acknowledge her brilliance in business and on her journey. BUT I draw the line at worship.
Sitting in my chair which was decently close to the stage, I took a moment to look back towards the far end of the auditorium and was amazed at the visual. The sheer volume of people attending was powerful, 8500+ minds and hearts waited to be moved during LifeClass. In my mind this was a wonderful opportunity, I imagined being a presenter and the magnitude of the responsibility of bringing the message with me.
Listening to the folks in the conference hall saying the names of the presenters in such awe-filled voices was amusing at first, and slowly became thought-provoking. It would be safe to say that a large portion of the attendees are seeking meaning in their lives, their attendance alone reflected this.
Would attendees find their answers in the messages being presented or in the presenters?
When we’re dealing with celebrity presenters it’s likely that a percentage become lost to the message by being star-struck.
The topic was one that is dear to me, Gratitude.
How does one present on gratitude without including faith?
Over the past few years gratitude has been the center of my life, the driving force behind every conscious move I make. I have sought to retrain myself, constantly striving to reflect this on a subconscious level. The only way I’ve been able to achieve any growth in this area is by turning to my faith.
Deepak Chopra, Iyanla Vanzant,Bishop T.D.Jakes and Tony Robbins all shared their messages on gratitude in the pre-show warm up. I took pages of notes, here are some snippets for you:
- There is a spiritual solution for everything ~ Deepak Chopra
- Gratitude is the door to abundant awareness ~ Deepak Chopra
- Be still and allow God to come forward ~ Iyanla Vanzant
- Live the truth, Be the truth of what you believe in the moment ~ Iyanla Vanzant
- It’s the things that go wrong that make you better ~ Bishop T.D. Jakes
- Move forward with intentionality, your miracle is always in what you have left ~ Bishop T.D. Jakes
- Decisions not conditions determine destiny ~ Tony Robbins
- Change is automatic, progress is not ~ Tony Robbins
Each presenter had their own style and personality with their presentation, each brought forth points of interest for me irrelevant of their faith but they didn’t actually speak about their faith. All of the points I’ve listed above are fantastic, their all truth based but missing the crux of the message….they’re missing the point if they’re not founded in a relationship with God.
I realize that this was a media event, one which was geared to inspire spiritually no matter what people’s spiritual beliefs are but where was the meat of the topic?
How can Bishop T.D. Jakes possibly speak on gratitude without mentioning the supreme sacrifice Jesus made for us?
This question alone will be the topic for an article I’ll write in the near future because it’s one which I dance around often in my mind.
At the end of the day what I was left with was a magnificent respect for all 5 celebrities and their presentations, their passion and their willingness to share. Along with this was a realization that I missed having Jesus recognized or God being given the accolades He deserves.
Throughout the day each presenter did speak the word God, in fact often giving credit but God wasn’t the center of the message and for me….well it felt hollow.
How do we inspire others of different faiths while remaining true to our own? I don’t think I’ll ever be able to focus on my gratitude while excluding the foundation of my faith.
What do you think, how do you inspire and motive others without scaring them off with your faith?
Listen, I’m not saying they should have pushed Jesus or their own Higher Power but isn’t it strange that none of the presenters spoke from the heart of their OWN faith? They didn’t specify where they draw their own spiritual soloution from.
Why is it that we shy away from this, from speaking the words of our faith?
Why do we shut down when people of other faiths present us with messages, cannot we apply the message to our own faith?