We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. – Plato
Have you known what it is to be invigorated by a memorable sunrise? To be out on the water, or in a field as the day takes shape with all the majesty of God’s paintbrush working its magic on your soul? There’s really nothing like it. It’s amazing what a little sunshine can do for the soul! There’s just something about a bright sunny day that does us all good. It seems that God speaks to us through his creation and this can be so clearly seen by a bright, crisp, sunny morning. Ideally, as we are drawn to the magnificence of nature, we are drawn to the Creator himself. It’s ironic that the light of the sun on a bright day is the exact allegory Jesus uses multiple times as he teaches his followers about life.
Light and darkness are one of Jesus’ favorite descriptors and he uses this metaphorical teaching aid more than as mere warnings, but these are the instances where he gives some of his most practical words of advice and warnings to us. There is nothing small about a change from darkness to light. It is transformational, and not a slow change by any stretch. The change from darkness to light is instant. Many of us have woken in the pitch black of early morning to get out of the tent or trailer to get our clothes on and on the trail. We fumble for a light and proceed to find our socks, long underwear, bullets, gloves, and head for the outside. When that first flashlight comes on, it absolutely changes everything.
“Your eye is the lamp of the body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is also full of light. But when it is bad, your body is also full of darkness. Take care, then, that the light in you is not darkness. If, therefore, your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be entirely illuminated, as when a lamp shines its light on you.” (Luke 11:34-36)
As usual, Jesus says it perfectly. Through the eyes and what they focus on, we find our attention. You will also find the direction we are trending, and who we are becoming. It’s interesting that Jesus doesn’t allow for the color of grey here, or reference a middle zone. He simply talks about being full of darkness, or full of light.
This Thursday at After Hours, we will talk about things the enemy uses to snatch our focus away from the light of God. Our habits, motives, life plans, and appetites entering our body through our eyes will determine our trajectory – good or bad – as life plays itself out in our story. We will see that we are not static beings. We are living and moving in a specific direction that is either healthy or not so healthy for our soul. Jesus puts it this way:
“For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (John 3:20-22)
Notice his reference to movement here. Our decisions move us in a direction towards light and God, or away from Jesus, to a darker side leading to wicked things. Most of us don’t wake up one day and say I think I’ll operate in the realm of wicked things. But if our focus isn’t on the things of God – if we grow stale in our intensity of seeking him, whether we know it or not, we will be in the realm of tolerating unhealthy behaviors in our lives. And yes, we will wake up living a life that will disappoint ourselves and others, with enormous fallout.
The theme this month will be about moving towards the Light. Recognizing that whether we know it or not, we are creating patterns of thought, behavior, and actions that are leading to either light or darkness. We can make better choices, but we’ll need help to keep accountable.