Today’s lesson from Daniel is the tale of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego that seemed so fantastical in childhood. As an adult, I have to wonder, “Why risk being hurled into a fiery furnace when you could just pretend to worship the golden calf?”
The unfortunate truth is that it’s rarely the most attractive option. The passage commands us to leave the safety and security of where we are. To be strong. To risk being unpopular. And even to suffer
Examples abound. Do you occasionally close one eye to unethical situations at work because it pays your bills? Have you laughed at a joke made at a friend’s expense in order to fit in? Have you ever made up an excuse to a loved one because it seemed easier than hurting his or her feelings? Our ideals are constantly called into question. And the context is often far more subtle than golden calf vs. death.
But if we are to be martyrs for the truth, how can we be certain of the truth? John tells us that the word of God is a good place to start: “If you continue in my word…you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
And so, my meditation for today is this:
God, grant me awareness. Keep my heart and mind open to your teachings. Let the division between truth and falsehood be markedly clear. And grant me the courage to cleave to the truth.