Just As Before

All really good thoughts seem to come to me when I am not with pen, paper, or keyboard.  A couple weeks ago I was vacuuming and started to think about a scripture, Daniel 6:10.  In this scripture the presidents and princes are looking for some reason to get rid of Daniel, which they are finding very hard, so they come up with a plan.  They get the king to sign a royal statute making a firm decree that no one can worship anyone or thing other than King Darius.  This however does not stop Daniel.

Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

Just as he had done before.  That line got me to thinking.  A few years ago I read a blog about Daniel’s faith, and it made a very excellent point.  Daniel didn’t get thrown into the lions den and suddenly establish his faith or relationship with God.  Daniel didn’t make half hearted efforts at his walk with God, no, JUST AS HE HAD DONE BEFORE.  Three times a day Daniel got down on his knees and thanked God for everything rain, shine, sleet, snow, or threat of imprisonment.  Nothing seemed to stop Daniel from working on this relationship that he had with God.  Without this dedication and effort put in everyday on Daniels part, he would have just been a giant kitty snack.

David didn’t just wake up one morning either and decide “Hey Jack, think I’ll go stand up to Goliath.  God’s got my back, right?”  David knew God and had established a faith in God, knowing that when he needed him He was there.

But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it.  Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.  The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

I used to wake up everyday and see photos of people who I considered were “in shape”, and for some reason just thought, oh I can’t have that, or that isn’t how my body is made.  And the classics, “I’m just big boned” or “I’ve had kids”.  For some reason it just never clicked in my head until a few months ago.  I started actually researching what makes these people with great muscle tone so great, and you want to know the secret?  It’s called exercise.  But it’s not just exercise here and there, no, it’s constant dedication and putting in the effort everyday.  It’s making those small choices everyday to eat the vegetables and not the donut, and walking your butt out to the garage or the gym and picking up the weights.  If you want to lift 500 pounds, you certainly don’t start on day one.  It takes time, effort, and dedication.   The same can also be said for our human relationships.  You don’t get the fairytale marriage, loving kids, or have great friendships by neglecting people.  You invest your time into them and then gain great rewards for your effort.

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