Nebuchadnezzar had a rough night. A disturbing dream had arrested his sleep, and its meaning eluded him. Nebuchadnezzar’s wise men were scheduled for an even rougher night. The king had made an impossible demand. He was not going to share with them the contents of his dream; yet they were ordered to decipher its meaning. And if they didn’t, heads would roll.
Included in the king’s order of sages, Daniel and his compatriots’ lives also hung in jeopardy. So, seemingly without a thought, Daniel boldly told the king he would render the impossible. He would provide the interpretation of a dream he didn’t even know. Rather than attempting to hover under the radar, maneuvering to buy a little more time or figure out an escape, he stood up front and center. Daniel returned to his clan with the news; it was received, I am sure, with mixed reviews. He told them it was time to pray. I imagine more than one of them thought: “Don’t you think prayer might have been in order before you marched to the front of the guillotine line?”
Situation: desperate. It was time for God.
Have you ever been there? The situation has grown dire. It is time for action. A decision is required. Fast. It is not a matter of racing in carelessly, recklessly abandoning the wisdom of waiting. It is simply one of those rare moments where you are standing on a precipice and must decide which way to fall. It is not an issue of whether or not you will topple; the question to be answered is simply one of direction. The luxury of time has not been offered to you. Only a few grains of sand remain, your final seconds slipping away.
In these rare moments, the furnace heat billows. The testing begins. What will it be? Courage or cowardice?
There is a powerful pull within each of us, the g-force of self-preservation. What will cause me the least pain? What provides me with the least risk, the highest odds of success and safety? What direction offers the most padding on which to land? How can I assure the least damage, the smallest wounds?
But such questions are not the birthing ground of heroes. The courageous ones stare fear in the face and back it down. They don’t meander in the room of indecision, manipulating for a path of least resistance. Heroes don’t slow dance with their fears.
The courageous ones, women and men of faith, follow Daniel’s lead. When a daring moment requires a bold action, they take it. When it demands a bold answer, they give it. Uncomfortable as it may be, they daringly walk to the edge of the precipice. They know it is time for God, and they leap.
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