Drawing a line
All the royal officials at the king’s gate knelt down and paid honor to Haman, for the king had commanded this concerning him. But Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor.
- Esther 3:2
In today’s passage, we see Mordecai drawing a line. He’s living in Persia. He’s serving the Persian king, even protecting the king’s life. But Mordecai won’t bow down to Haman.
Just a generation or two before the Mordecai drew his line stories started circulating about Jewish men who also found themselves drawing lines in the midst of their captivity. Daniel and his friends learned the language and literature of Babylon (where they had been carried off to into exile). They served the king, but refused to eat his food. They served the king, but refused to bow to his statue. They served the king, but continued to pray to their own God.
Mordecai and Daniel and the Jewish exiles aren’t the only ones who find themselves having to draw lines in life. We also (especially in our “such a time as this” moments) will have to draw lines.
What will you wear? What will you eat and drink? How much money will you spend, save and give? Who will you spend time with? Where will you fit in with folks around you and where will you stand out?
We don’t exactly know why Mordecai and Daniel and his buddies drew their lines in the places they drew them. But we do know that their line-drawing, boundary-creating, risk-taking work didn’t come without a cost. Healthy boundaries almost always receive resistance, especially when we first put them into place. But they are so worth it!
Where do you need to draw a line today? What would it look like for you to create a healthy boundary? What resistance do you anticipate?