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Wednesday Wondering - February 21, 2024

Scripture

Daniel 6: 10 - 13

10Although Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he continued to go to his house, which had windows in its upper room open toward Jerusalem, and to get down on his knees three times a day to pray to his God and praise him, just as he had done previously. 11The conspirators came and found Daniel praying and seeking mercy before his God. 12Then they approached the king and said concerning the interdict, “O king! Did you not sign an interdict, that anyone who prays to anyone, divine or human, within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be thrown into a den of lions?” The king answered, “The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.” 13Then they responded to the king, “Daniel, one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the interdict you have signed, but he is saying his prayers three times a day.”


Reflection

I have been wondering lately about this idea of presence. We all have those friends who, although we don’t see often, when we do it is like no time has passed and we pick up where we left off. By extension, I have also been thinking about God’s presence, and our being present, or open, too God in our own lives. What does it mean to have a presence in someone else’s life and what does it mean to have God present in our lives, or maybe the better question should be what does it mean to be present to God in our lives. The reality is that we live in a very busy, hectic, world. Sometimes it seems as if there are so many opposing forces pulling on our lives. We have family commitments, friends, acquaintances, and all of the other things that the world tells us must be important in our lives if we are to be successful. We seem to be a people who schedule our lives to the maximum because, I wonder, if we don’t have a full schedule, if we are not ‘doing’ something, then our lives are not complete or fulfilled, or successful. But I wonder if we actually need more in our lives than a full schedule? 


I was out for lunch with a good friend of mine recently and although this is a friend whom I care deeply for, it seem as if they are so busy that we rarely, if ever, have time to spend together. Even when we do manage to spend some time together it ends up being very limited as there is always another thing that needs to get done. This is not something that is intentional, it just happens to be the reality of their life. The difficult thing is that in some ways the time that we do seem to be together almost feels like the crumbs of their life. This is not to say that our friendship is not important, but rather it is a commentary on how busy life is for both my friend and myself that we don’t get a lot of time to be with those who are important in our lives. How many times have we felt that way with people in our lives? How often have we lamented the fact that we seem to always only get the crumbs of someone’s life? But in reality how often do we only offer God the crumbs of our own lives? I wonder how many times we don’t think of God, unless we need something? 


The reading that I chose today speaks about making room in one’s life for God. Daniel had been taken into exile in Babylon after the fall of Jerusalem. Eventually Daniel was working for the King of Babylon in his court, as a trusted advisor. This was a position, as an advisor to the king, that was required a lot of time, energy, and responsibility, it was a job that held a lot of importance. Yet, in the midst of all that had happened in his life Daniel made it a habit to go home and pray to God 3 times a day, inviting God to be a part of his life always and throughout the entire day. How often do we invite God to be a part of our own lives? I wonder if maybe we only really reach out to God when we have challenges that we are facing, or petitions that we hope God will hear, or maybe it is only when something good happens in our lives and we offer our thanks to God. When we only reach out when we need something, or when we are grateful for something, are we only offering God the crumbs of our lives? I believe that it is important to have an ongoing relationship with God, allowing God’s presence to be felt in our lives and being open to God at all times in our lives. Maybe we need to offer God more than the crumbs of our day and instead wake up inviting God into our lives in the morning, during the day, and in the evening, inviting God to be a part of every aspect of our lives.


Prayer

Loving God of presence, we ask that you accept all of our lives and not just the crumbs that we are tempted to offer. Help us to cultivate a practice of recognizing and speaking to you throughout the day, each and every day. Give us the courage to continue to be your people, to hear your call, and to bring your presence into our lives, in the midst of a world that seems to have discarded you. We ask this in the name of the one who came to be with us, your son, Jesus. Amen.



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