April 11: The Better Life Can Be Routine

Read Daniel 6:1-28

The political tensions we observe today are not new to our generation. They were alive and well in the 6th century b.c.

After the king, Daniel was one of the three most influential people in the land. And because of his attitude and conduct, Daniel distinguished himself as one worthy of further promotion. But on the eve of his appointment, other national leaders jealously sought grounds to discredit him. Sound familiar?

Because Daniel possessed impeccable character and integrity, the only course of action his opponents could find was related to his faith. They finagled a means by which prayer to the God of heaven was made illegal. Again, there is something that smacks of present day in our schools in that decision! I suppose it was one of the earliest expressions of political correctness. But this law extended beyond the public arena to one’s private life.

Though the law was in place, nothing changed in Daniel’s personal practices. This “one day” in his life would be no different from all of the others.

“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.” (v. 10)

Time with God had become part of Daniel’s daily routine. Nothing was going to distract him from it.

This week, we have been emphasizing the value of planning and looking for special, meaningful encounters with God. And we should. Meanwhile, don’t miss out on the reality that there is no substitute for a daily routine of spending time with Him. The word “routine” can have a negative slant to it. It can be the mindless brushing of your teeth or thoughtless act of shaving or putting on makeup. That is not the kind of “routine” that we attach to time with the God of heaven. No, this “routine” is a very thoughtful, engaging, but regular and daily pattern of devotion to Him. It is one that we participated in today and…duh…of course we will again tomorrow because it is so important to us.