The Fourth Man

It’s weird week again, same song second verse.

Profoundly uncomfortable as I wait for what’s going to happen. I know what I’ve done, and I am sure that I have done the right thing.

That’s the most important part, you know? Doing what’s right. I just have to

SHHHHHHHHSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

just have to not talk about it.

SSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHH

So, I’m left thinking. and pondering. And trying not to let my stomach  hurt too much.

It helps my stomach to think about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Their stories happened in a dark time. Hostile environment, sure. They were important guys in the Babylonian empire.

BABYLON

They were working hard and had gained some prestige. They were not Babylonian. They were Jewish, God’s chosen people. They were so good at their jobs that their Babylonian peers wanted to take them down. The Babylonian jack-offs went up to Nebuchanezzar and suggested this scheme.

“Build an enormous idol and have all your lead guys bow down to it!” it was supposed to be an affirmation of the authority and communication protocols. Not to mention a team-building activity.

Certainly, no Babylonian thought twice about it. Bow, yeah, whatever. This is the royal fad this week? *yawn*

But Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego had their principles. Those very principles which had led them to succeed and be so valuable to the King. They had their God, and idols were forbidden.

If Nebuchanezzar had thought about it, he would have realized the ridiculous scheme was exactly tailored to hurt his 3 Jewish guys. But he was busy, and all these new requirements for the kingdom were pressing and all these VPs and directors or whatever they called them then needed to remember that HE was in charge, and this was a great idea.

So the idol was built. And the punishment for disobedience was being thrown into a fiery furnace.

Day came, the band hired to pump up the heads of the kingdom for this team-building exercise was playing. And at the downbeat..BAM…they all bow.

‘cept our three guys.

How much you wanna bet that Nebuchanezzar right that second remembered that they had special diversity requirements for the Jewish men? He knew that they were good at their job, but it’s not always fun to have them remind you about this one little detail to take care of. Maybe he was sick of having to put up with their efficiency and their WEIRDNESS.

“DAMMIT! I”M KING, AND YOU HAVE TO BOW!”

small thing to ask. Nobody believed in this idol anyway.

But they wouldn’t bow.

HEAT UP THE FURNACE SEVEN TIMES HOTTER!

..now will you bow, you annoying men of character?…

The three men stood.

Well, now Nebuchanezzar had done it. He’d put his ego on the line and he had to throw them in. Didn’t they realize how hard it is to be a King? why where they making him HAVE to throw them to their deaths?

This was such a downer, he was going to feel bad about this for weeks and it would really affect productivity. But he would lose face if he didn’t do it.

THROW THEM IN!

Now back to me. My stomach has had a long time to clench during the last several days. A lot of days. While they say “Try to relax! Enjoy your time at home!”

I don’t think our three men were very relaxed at their team-building exercise.

Then I thought about it again. They were focussed on doing the right thing. They could live in the moment, concentrate on the moment because they could just think about doing the right thing.

I am doing the right thing, and I am going to keep doing the right thing wherever that takes me.

Meanwhile, back in Babylon…

they were thrown into the fiery furnace. The Fire roared, and the soldiermen who threw them in died. That’s hard core

Nebuchanezzar regretted it the instant he’d done it. As soon as he could get close enough, he looked to see what was happening to Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego.

Here’s the KJV quote (Dan 3:25):

He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

I have a lot of fear I could concentrate on in this hard time. But I don’t want to be afraid. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I want to be strong.

Thing is, our three men were not thinking about the flames and how much it was going to hurt. I don’t think they were anyway.

THEY WERE CONCENTRATING ON DOING THE RIGHT THING.

They didn’t bow. I will not bow to the pressure either. It was clear to them, and it’s clear to me, what the right thing is.

I will not bow. Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego were not afraid of losing their jobs. They didn’t even falter at losing their LIFE.

So I won’t bow. I will not give in to the pressure. And I will do my best not to think about the flames. If it gets really hot, I can talk to the fourth man.

My stomach thanks me for it.

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