by Scott Smith
There is an ebb and flow to this earthly life. Each day presents new struggles and new opportunities, almost in the form of waves. Of course, not all waves are created equal. A mountain to one is a mound to another, and vice versa.
Recently, I watched a documentary on surfing. Now, I do not surf, never have, but it is undeniably fascinating to watch someone stand on a board and literally ride a wave. Like many, I have great respect for the sea, so I am naturally enthralled by the unique environment surrounding the sport of surfing. My fascination -- and admitted tiny nugget of knowledge concerning surfing -- aside, there was a statement made by a renowned surfer in this documentary that lingered in my thoughts. This individual said the key to catching the wave at the right time is knowing where to be.
In almost anything we do in life, position is crucial. Think about it. If you want to buy a car, you position yourself for the right opportunity by researching certain vehicles and price points. We do the same in buying a house. Have you ever found yourself timing your arrival at a certain place or event? You are positioning yourself for a desired outcome. This is no different in our academic and personal pursuits. We position ourselves for success in our academic endeavors by securing the proper resources in time for certain deadlines, making sure we are capable of performing at the maximum level possible. In all these things, position is the key.
So, what does this have to do with the ebb and flow of life? Life can be difficult, there is no doubt. In fact, Jesus tells us in John 16:33 that trials are going to come our way. The more I thought about the ebb and flow of life, the more I came to realize that my response is directly influenced by my position. I am not referring to a position of status, like a job, relationship, etc. I am referring to the position of perspective. You see, surfers know where to be because they know what to look for. I want to give you two tangible takeaways in this week’s post that will help you find position.
How do we put ourselves in the best position for successfully navigating the waves of life? We practice prayer and offer praise in the process. Yes, I am using alliteration as a teaching tool -- it helps me -- and I hope it helps you. Have you ever read the story of Daniel in the Bible? You know, Daniel the lion tamer. Daniel is a prime example of how to practice prayer and praise in the process.
Daniel and his friends were stripped from their homeland, taken to a new place and made to be servants. He came through in the clutch, offering some dream diagnosis, and he was eventually promoted to a very prominent position.
It was not all good for Daniel. In fact, some people were jealous of him and tricked the king into throwing Daniel in a den full of lions. As we know, God delivered Daniel from the lions’ den, and He used Daniel’s experience to reach people with His truth.
The one thing that we see throughout Daniel’s story is his practice of prayer. The Bible tells us that Daniel prayed multiple times each day. He practiced prayer, so when adversity came his way, he was in proper position to respond. His response, in light of being told he was facing mortal danger, was to go to his home and pray. The Bible tells us he prayed and gave thanks to God at this time. Daniel was facing death, and his response was to pray and give thanks to God! This praise in the process is a product of Daniel’s proper perspective; and as we know, proper perspective comes from the practice of prayer.
This week, I encourage each of you to practice prayer and offer praise in the process. No matter what happens, put yourself in the right position by walking with Christ, surrendering to His sovereignty, and practicing praise. Know where to be, and get there.