Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: HEALTH (10/13/16)
TITLE: Dare to be a Daniel
By Elaine Hemingway
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When I was a child parental authority was paramount. I remember sitting one afternoon before a plate of whatever vegetable it was that I didn’t like, perhaps boiled cabbage, having been told “no eat, no play.” I did not suffer psychological abuse and I didn’t dwell on it except to dredge up such memories now. Memories like beans in toast being Monday lunch as my mother was busy with the washing. It took me a long time to learn to enjoy baked beans, but no big deal.
Proverbs 22:6 is still profound wisdom. “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
Amongst the captives taken to Babylon around 605 BC were Daniel and his three friends. They were of noble or royal lineage, young, virile, intelligent and attractive enough to be taken into the service of King Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel had been taught self-discipline, or might he perhaps, in modern terms, have been diagnosed with OCED – Obsessive Compulsive Eating Disorder? Was he maybe Autistic, having a strong compulsion to eat foods of a certain colour, texture or vitamin content?
Certainly his adherence to the concept of a “5 a day” diet ensured a good intake of fruit and vegetables as well as keeping him from obesity, a scourge of modern society. His abstention from alcohol prevented the onset of anti-social or abusive behaviour so often associated with extreme intake.
After testing them on their request to eat only food of their choice, we read in Daniel 1:15 “At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food”.
Verse 17 records “To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning …” and in verse 20, “In every manner of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.” So they were emotionally, physically and Spiritually healthy.
If Daniel lived in today’s culture and the world situation, how would his decisions be viewed? Would he be considered as a religious bigot, or a cultural outcast or just a picky eater? How would he relate to the words in 2 Timothy 3:1-4? “But mark this: there will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God -”
Unfortunately we live today in a world that is unhealthy; physically, emotionally and spiritually unstable. I don’t know who wrote it but there is a quote I remember that thankfully has been found: copyright public domain from 1873-
“Standing by a purpose true,
Heeding God’s command,
Honor them, the faithful few!
All hail to Daniel’s band!
Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm!
Dare to make it known.
Many mighty men are lost,
Daring not to stand,
Who for God had been a host
By joining Daniel’s band.“
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