Do you think you are in control of your life? Think again. I got the reminder today in Daniel 1. In this chapter we hear of a group of four young men from Judah (one of them being Daniel) - good looking, talented, smart , kin of the king - who got "relocated" due to circumstances beyond their control. Think about this for a minute: God gave Jehoiakim, king of Judah, over to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. (Daniel 1:2) Daniel and friends just happened to be caught in the middle. I really doubt that Daniel did anything to cause God to judge Judah in this way.
So...I wonder, how many times my plans have changed without my knowing it due to the actions of others. Conversely, how many lives do I affect because of my actions, good or bad?
Really, the only thing we can control is our own actions. I enjoyed reading about how Daniel "purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's delicacies" (Daniel 1:8 NKJV). Apparently, the king's meat was probably either forbidden by the Law or dedicated to idols. Daniel even had enough of a positive influence that his friends chose not to eat the king's delicacies as well. They chose to do what was right, even in a difficult situation.
I can learn from Daniel. That no matter what situation I find myself in or what anyone else is doing around me, I do have control over a couple of things - my attitudes and my actions.