Daily Reflection
March 16th, 2000
Bob Whipple
English Department
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25
Psalms 138:1-3, 7-8
Matthew 7:7-12

Today's reading seems to me to deal with fright and peace--fright in the face of problems, and peace in the knowledge of God.  In today's Old Testament reading, Esther is "seized with deathly anxiety."

What a surprise.

It seems that anxiety is a daily occurrence for most of us these days.  In some ways it's nice to know that our spiritual ancestors of 2000+ years ago had anxiety--it makes us feel less alone.  On the other hand, anxiety is no fun--no fun at all.  When we have anxiety, we feel set apart--alone, as Esther feels--beset with afflictions.  We feel set apart, sometimes, from God.

The good part is that God does answer--the Psalmist tells us that "thou didst answer me, " and that "my strength of soul thou didst increase. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou dost preserve my life; thou dost stretch out thy hand against the wrath of my enemies, and thy right hand delivers me."  God knows what we are going through.

Knowing this is a powerful tonic.  It  works.  Some days I drive into work feeling like there's a gorilla in my office I'll have to wrestle to get through the day.  But then I try to remember why I am here--what I am here to do--and what tools I've been given to accomplish my task--among them the support and love of a very understanding God--and things fall into perspective.  I share my imagined fears with God, and they seem much less. By the time I get to the office door, I know there's no gorilla.  As Shakespeare wrote (though he meant it for a sweetheart, I don't think he'll mind my appropriating it here): "...thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings/ That then I scorn to change my state with kings."

But there's a little price for all this good stuff.  Matthew tells us: "Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."   So far, so good.  But doesn't this seem a little too, well, easy?  Granted, God loves us all and will love us all, always.  But should we do something in return?  Matthew gives us a gentle hint: "...So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them."  Be nice. Understand.  Think.  Have perspective.  Don't be a jerk, don't get steamed at the poor slob in the other car who may well have had a day like you nearly had. There, but for the grace of God, etc....

Or in other words, take a little baby step toward being more like God.  It's not too much to ask, given the returns we get.

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.

Online Ministries
Home Page
for Sunday
Online Retreat
Daily Readings Texts
from the
New American Bible
Daily Readings Texts
from the
RSV Bible
Spirituality Links
Saint of the Day
Collaborative Ministry Office 
Home Page
University Ministry
Home Page
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook