As I sit down to write today, there is one thought that is louder than anything else: do not start a war about diets, way of life and convictions.
Today’s passage, in a sense it gives us permission to play that game. Where we would try to prove we are right, and we just wait to say: I told you so. While I want to praise Daniel and his friends for their convictions, I am also reminded that convictions without grace only lead to disagreements and from there only a step away to conflict.
We live in a complex world, where Christianity as a whole is more on the defense that a leading factor in our society. We live in a word where pluralism and abundance of ideas and beliefs are encouraged. As I look at America today, I see more than a melting pot, I see a crystalized society, a mosaic of ideas and culture all systematic organized almost following a pattern, I see a country where convictions leads people into boxes and categories. And I have to wonder what happened to the melting pot I heard off? What happened to the America as a society? Have we become so afraid to express our beliefs and convictions, that we only talk about them when we feel safe and in a group that shares the same ideas as we do?
What happen to the middle? You know that place where people have been able to converse and explore new ideas, new ways of looking at life, where discovery and understanding flourishes? The lesson I learn from Daniel, is more than a lesson on diet, of good food vs. bad food; it is even more than Daniel doing the right thing. This lesson is about communicating ideas, convictions in a way where one finds favor, where change does happen but in an amazing way, not by force, not by playing the “I told you so” card.
I would like to ask God, that we can be wise as Daniel and be able to speak out what we believe in a way that brings people together and helps us step towards the middle.