"Just Write" seems to be what I hear each morning of late during my devotional time. Then, after a few hours of edits, "you also need to work on your brevity!"
I can be a little long winded when I attempt to "think out loud". My wife is now concerned for my right thumb, as most of my work is done on a cell phone, as I sit in my wing chair each morning.
Thinking back upon my well-churched childhood, it now dawns on me that the stories told in Sunday School often focused more on drama than deep meaning. David and Goliath was more about learning to use a sling shot, or cutting off a giant's head than trusting providence to position your life.
Likewise, as I read through the Book of Daniel, my memories of the Lion's Den story seem more focused on God protecting you when people do bad things to good people. My early takeaway may have been more fear based, such that if you are a Christian, count on it, you will be treatedly poorly.
I now see the true essense of the story was about the character, integrity and leadership, as this amazing man went about serving others, though in a rather hostile environment.
From an early teen, he was deported and likely deprived of a family life, if in fact a eunuch.
He had been selected for his aptitude and willingness to learn. His story surfacing such quality traits as being a strategic thinker, trustworthy and loyal to others. Even, when life positioned him among those who's ego's were off the charts, their lifestyles lavish, some even brutal,
Providence would however play out, just as it had much earlier in the life of Joseph, similar in character, though my childhood takeway was more about "a coat of many colors."
Through all the political craziness of several generations of tyrants, Daniel stayed focused on his calling, and no doubt given his promotion through the ranks, practical in his day to day execution of assignments, himself governed by a spiritual discernment, attained by way of daily prayer.
True prayer changes the pray-er, much moreso its purpose than serving onlt to deliver our petitioning and praise to a distant diety who requires persuasion. When such petitions are expressed in the "closet", it's more about the need to hear ourselves expressing alignment and commitment to our calling, rather than our desperation.
When desperation is felt, as often is true with a true "change agent", those closet moments serve to solidify character and purify integrity, which is often tested, given that self denial is often a necessity.
These are such "other world-like" traits that when observed by those around us, become convincing of spiritual realities, otherwise deemed as foolishness.
Productivity is more often the goal of those focused on the immediate, rather than personal righteousness. However, in Christ both are possible.
Not throwing my peers or my early Sunday School teachers "under the bus", just saying there's more than drama hidden in this Book of Books!
Oh, and I was brief this morning!