I have a really hard time seeing in the dark. It’s ridiculous. Even with the light that normally illuminates the night, I can’t see anything. We have a standing rule (okay, I have a standing rule): a bedside light or the TV has to stay on until I’m in bed. If not, it’s almost a guarantee that I’ll end up with a bedtime injury of some kind. It sometimes makes driving difficult. The time that it is actually the worst is walking down my front walk or driveway at night.
We have lights on the side of the house, by the driveway. And on the front porch. But they don’t illuminate very far. On the rare occasion that I have to go to the mailbox or walk a trashcan to the curb after dark, I usually take a flashlight. Because my eyes just don’t adjust and I can’t see my feet, much less the random deer (yes, deer…in my yard…EVERY night), tree or anything else that’s in my path. When I forget the flashlight, the darkness seems to just surround me, consume me, almost suffocate me. The farther I walk from the light, the darker it gets. Step by step, the darkness increases. I literally count the steps until I reach the curb or end of the walk. Because then I can turn around. As soon as I turn around I can see the light. When I’m facing the light, I can see enough to know pretty well what’s around me. My path gets brighter the closer I get. And once I get to the light, I can see everything. Clearly.
I think our spiritual lives are a lot like this. We know that staying in the Light is what’s best. We know that as long as we walk in the Light, we’ll clearly see what lies in our path. We know that the Light will show us any hazards that are in our way. Yet we still sometimes walk towards the darkness. Sometimes it’s just a step or two and then we step back in the Light. But other times we continue to walk deeper and deeper into the darkness, until darkness is all we see. Until the light is no where in front of us. Until we’re spiritually tripping, falling, suffocating in the darkness around us.
There’s good news in that overwhelming, suffocating darkness. If you turn around, you’ll see the Light. It may just be a small glimmer at first. But the closer you get to it, the brighter it gets. The more your path is illuminated. The more those obstacles, hurdles and hazards are visible. This time you bypass them because walking (or running) towards the light allows you to see the danger.
The brighter we allow the Light to be in our lives, the more clearly we see everything. As soon as we begin to step into the shadows, turning our back away from the light, our path, our purpose, our mission becomes less clear. Stay in the Light. Stay on the bright path. Then you can leave the night-light at home.