As a young man, I used to be really intimidated by people of prominence or worldly fame that I had the chance to meet. In their presence, I acted much like Daniel describes his encounter. My heart would race, it would be hard to breathe, and I would feel paralyzed by fear that I would say or do something really stupid.
Then, along the journey, I was given the opportunity to meet and spend time with a few people who would be deemed prominent in certain circles. I was able to hang out with them, watch them, and listen to them. I found them remarkably human. In fact, in most cases I found myself scratching my head and thinking, "why does everyone think this person is so great?"
These experiences really changed my perspective and the way I react to people I meet. However, today's chapter is a reminder to me of a theme throughout God's message. When human beings come in contact with God or His messengers, the reaction is always fear, humility and being paralyzed. Heavenly presence is, indeed, something with which we all will be impressed. In heavenly presence we will all appropriately fall to our faces. It reminds me of Jesus' words:
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matt 10:28 (NIV)