When I tell people I used to go to a mega-church in Houston, they usually look shocked. And slightly horrified. (Admittedly, that’s why I don’t usually mention it.) I know what they’re thinking: I don’t seem like the type to belong to a mega-church. Am I one of those religious nuts?
Not so much. Reciting the same words every Sunday at Catholic church for the first 18 years of my life killed any potential I had for religious zest. I no longer consider myself religious, only spiritual.
But here’s what I loved about Lakewood Church, the largest church in the country: It’s full of optimism and excitement. The tens of thousands of people who worship in the non-denominational stadium where Houston’s professional basketball team used to play are excited to be alive. They jump up and down, throw their arms in the air, burst out in song because they’re psyched about what the next day will bring. Yes, they’re also excited about Jesus. But the overarching message of Lakewood is that we should all feel grateful, optimistic and excited about life.
The music that pumps through that church during its weekly service is so full of energy that I still listen to it during my morning runs, long after I moved away from Houston and left Lakewood behind. During a run last week, I turned on a track that includes a few motivational lines from Lakewood’s pastor, Joel Osteen. He says one of the phrases he’s famous for: “The best things in life are out in front of us!”
I crave these types of people, the ones who are excited about what’s ahead — because their excitement rubs off on me. I’m naturally an optimistic person, but my optimism increases exponentially when I’m around people who also see the world’s glass as half full. If you see potential for greatness in everything you do, it’s all more likely to turn out great. If you’re psyched about 2011, it’s more likely to be awesome.
I have so much to look forward to in the coming year: exploring my new home in northern Virginia, tackling projects at my new job, and turning 30 (whoa). If that weren’t enough, this is the year I will land a BOOK DEAL!
What are YOU psyched about for the coming year?
Happy New Year, my friends! I can’t wait to see what 2011 brings you!