In The Lion’s Den
Have you been in the lion’s den? Are you there now? Yes, no, I have a rumination for you.
Remember the Biblical story of Daniel? He was what we now would call the Secretary of State under King Darius. This was a post of honor and responsibility but, also a place of being put in great danger. In the ancient Oriental world, getting rid of people they could not control was common.
King Darius was a rigid type of person who was caught up in his own weakness so he could not help Daniel who was arrested and thrown into the lion’s pit. This was a common occurrence to show others what would happen to them if they were not “politically correct”. Daniel was not promptly torn to pieces by the lions as was expected. He was untouched and in due course released from the lion’s den.
Spiritually, this is one of the great lessons of the stories in the Bible. Daniel is everyone facing tribulation, threats and accusations. We learn to overcome our human belief in limitation. When we are faced with these challenges, we are, figuratively speaking, thrown into a pit of lions. We feel the great fear, a graphic description of our state of mind at that time.
The key to Daniel’s strength and survival is written in Chapter 6, verse 10 of the Book of Daniel. Daniel had acquired the habit of prayer. He practiced the presence of God constantly and regularly. He was prayed up! When we stay in this state of consciousness we will know what we should do and when we should do it. Our answers come forth in times of silence as well as in times of activity. We may hear someone say something that gives us our “ah ha”. The answers are there, we just need to be open, aware and receptive.
Daniel knew trouble was pending and he immediately started to pray. He cleared up his consciousness. Scripture states, “His windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem.” Metaphysically the chamber is the secret place where we find God. Jerusalem is the highest part of a person’s nature; his reaching to realize God. We do not need a vivid realization of God to overcome a difficulty. Prayer will see us through as we turn toward Jerusalem.
Daniel prayed constantly, not only when he was in trouble. He prayed and meditated three times a day. When the dark challenging hours came, his practice stood by him and gave him strength. If we pray only at times of crisis we become challenged to find that contact with God. Prayer need not be a formal occasion. The thoughts we hold in our mind become our reality. We can amplify our lions or we can enter the silent sanctuary turning our back on fear just as Daniel turned his back on the lions and fear. Like playing a piano or any instrument, occasional practice will not get us ready for the big time.