Yes it’s true! I actually found the song “Dare to Be a Daniel” on youtube! Can you believe it? Whenever we would sing it in “Children’s Church” in that musty lower level of our granite church on White Street in Springfield, Ma I would feel a little funny. Even though my proper name was “Dana”, my family & my church friends called me “Danny” and once in a while “Daniel”. So, in my active boy imagination I would dream & pretend that I was named “Daniel” and I dreamed that it was because I had the courage of this Hebrew hero prophet and would some day earn the honor.
“Dare to be a Daniel, dare to stand alone
Dare to have a purpose firm, dare to make it known.”
I also remember those “tween-ager” years from 10-12 years old when I began to feel the heat of a community outside of my church and even in some close friendships who didn’t share my faith in Jesus, the Bible or heroes like “Daniel”. It was during those years that the sea of my secure little world started to get a little rough and I felt for the first time what it was like to fold under the pressure of fear. “Standing alone” or “Making anything known” that might cause somebody to disagree with me definitely wasn’t on my agenda.
I can see now that I was being dared to be myself. There are very few people who lay down their lives for their God designed mission. I missed something in those foundational years that I have been rediscovering: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” And so are you! Our creator God is also the One who has made a promise… who has put a His own name on the line through a covenant that if I will trust Him, I will become His artwork, His poetry.
To be honest I can’t remember a time in my life that I wasn’t being taught about this. But, what I missed was that I would have to be brave because the odds were stacked against me and I would have to learn to fight along with God’s Spirit in order to have the life of my dreams. I guess it was actually God who was daring me. I am glad to say that these days I am not as surprised when I have to fight for who God has called me to be in Jesus Christ. More and more I find myself praying that our eyes would be opened to actually see each other and be willing once again to surrender to Jesus & dare to be ourselves in Him.