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lesson from Daniel

I am reading the book of Daniel. It is depressing. Daniel does everything right. His integrity knows no bounds. He stands up to the kings of his day and tells them horrible news and defies their direct orders (respectfully, of course) and what happens? He gets promoted! Usually after he faces some horrible crisis and certain death, that's true, but even then he doesn't freak out. He knows his life is in good hands. Kings die and get murdered and pass on but Daniel stays, a highly respected man of incredible insight and wisdom who puts everyone else to shame. A man who is so squeaky clean that no one can find any fault in him except that he is loyal to God. And he doesn't seem to care what anyone thinks of him. He knows he is with God and that is all that matters.

I squished my finger under a box of cat litter today. It was pretty traumatic. For a brief moment, I wasn't sure if I would retain full use of it in a meaningful way. Thankfully, the throbbing stopped a minute later, and the incident is now a distant and slightly embarrassing memory. I probably panicked more over that finger incident that Daniel did over being tossed among the hungry lions. Like I said...depressing.

How does one make the right choice every time? How do I know which things are worth getting upset about? How do I see truth instead of just my perception of things?

At home group this week, we talked about how one learns life-changing lessons. My theory is that many lessons learned through crisis are probably lessons that we could not or would not hear in the calm. We all have different ways in which we learn. I believe that recognising truth, loving it, pursuing it and then living it is something we can cultivate. But too often it seems illusive, foggy, unclear, confusing or just a big silent blank. Why? Fear muddies the voice of reason. The desire to be liked and accepted or powerful and successful amplifies the wrong voices. Independence, that notion that I can get along just fine without God's intervention or others' help, erects a giant barrier that keeps out the catalyst of all truth, the Holy Spirit.

But if Daniel can do it, then so can I. Depressing, no. Inspiring, yes.

Let every waking and sleeping moment be an opportunity for epiphany in my life, this I pray.

This is a tree, named Daniel, standing alone on the shore of some part of New Brunswick.

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