A few years ago stores used to sell posters had all kind of shapes and drawings all over them. The appeal of these posters was if you looked at them in just the right way, you could see a “hidden” picture. It was normally something pretty boring like a sailboat. You had to work hard crossing your eyes, blurring your vision, and locking in to find out what was there. Bottom line, you spent a lot of time for very little pay off.
The model for our corporate fast starts with a young man, Daniel that speaks up to the king. He spoke up because he was different than the king and his subjects. It wasn’t just enough for him to be different. Other people had to know about it. Daniel knew if he ate the meat and wine sacrificed to idols, he would be part of the crowd. No one would have blamed him for fitting in. He was a young man in a foreign country. He had an excuse to want to blend in with the crowd.
That is not the way Daniel approached life. He wasn’t about conformity. He ate differently than others. He probably didn’t laugh at the same jokes that other people laughed at while standing around the water cooler. When he knew something didn’t glorify the God he served, he didn’t blend, he stood out. Scripture tells us that, “the king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel…” The guy was different.
Daily we are called to conform or to be separate. Conformity is easy for most of us. We can just “get along.” God has called us for so much more. The very word holy means to be separate. In that separation, Daniel and his friends were found ten times better in matters of wisdom and understanding. That is what separation can do for you. Do others have to blur their vision to see that you follow Christ? Conformist or Jesus follower; we get to decide.
*Have you been tempted to conform? Ask God for the strength to stand up in the face of the “kings” you face.
*Could some more individuality help you balance your life more? Who has God called you to be?