Showing posts with label Christian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian. Show all posts

Sunday, 7 April 2013


by Colin Bloom

On Good Friday, a friend of mine went to the service station to fill his wife's car up with fuel. He'd just squeezed in the last drop, the tank was trimmed to the brim and he was feeling pleased with himself at this act of marital kindness. His satisfaction was short lived, because as he looked down he saw he was holding a green unleaded petrol nozzle. His wife's car is a what Ringo Starr would call a Diseasal.

It cost my friend nearly £300 to get his mistake fixed. It would have cost him a great deal more if he had attempted to drive the car away. It could have been terminal. For the car that is; his marriage would probably have survived.

This little story made me think about the sort of fuel we put into ourselves. It reminded me of the Old Testament Israelite character Daniel. He was a Royal or a Noble from the  tribe of Judah and along with his friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego he was dragooned into the Babylonian King's court, where he eventually became the highest ranking Official across the land.

The first thing we are told about Daniel and his friends is that they were extraordinarily discriminating about what they fuelled themselves with. During their early training, Daniel refused to eat the fine foods and wine from the King's table, but rather chose a simple, rather plain, vegetarian diet. The only drink they took, we are told, was water. Perhaps unsurprisingly these four young men ended up looking healthier, fitter, stronger and more productive than the cohort they came with.

What does this have to say to us? What can we learn from Daniel's rather picky diet?

For me, the lesson isn't actually about food, it's about culture. It's about the cultural fuel we nourish ourselves with. Our four friends allowed themselves to be culturally assimilated into Babylonian life in almost every way; these Israelites allowed their names to be changed, they changed their language and the clothes they wore. They became very much part of the culture of their age, but in so doing they did not defile themselves by what they filled their tanks with. They were deliberate about what they took into themselves.

So should we be. We need to be careful not to defile ourselves with what we take in; what we furnish our minds with. If we fill our eyes, ears and minds with the wrong fuel isn't that the same as my friend filling his wife's car with the wrong fuel? We might get as far as the end of the road, but it would be slow, smelly and we might not make it much further.

So if we want to be like Daniel, we need to be extraordinarily discriminating about what we fuel our lives with too.