Keep the Lights On

We just recently visited King’s Island as a family and I learned two things. 1) I am finally getting older, and 2) I REALLY don't like the Flight of Fear ride. The reason I didn't like that ride is because it's so dark, and I was really whipped around, not knowing where I was going. Granted, I only had my prescription sunglasses to wear, which made a dark ride even worse, but not knowing where you're headed--especially at 60+ mph--is sure to be a bumpy ride.


Maybe that's not something familiar to you. What if you don't care for theme park rides and those high speeds? Maybe this anecdote resontates with you: we recently had an injury in the house because someone had to run through the hall to the stairs and didn't think to turn on the lights. The conclusion of that story was stepping on some toys and falling/sliding down a few stairs, and not a few tears.


If you're familiar with the psalms, you may just be waiting for me to mention Psalm 119:105. That is absolutely appropriate. The word of God is illumination for the path to guide our steps. And the obvious application and admonition is, “Read your Bible more.” Exactly! Excel still more! What if you are reading daily, but feel like you're still being jerked around or stumbling over the same, familiar obstacles?  Of course you need to apply what you read, but there is more to it!


Inexpensive LED flashlights typically have a few power modes, one of which is a strobe. For utility's sake, that makes great sense. The strobe does supply some illumination and saves batteries by not burning continuously. What if that was the only mode available to you? Think about traveling an unfamiliar path late at night in the dark. How useful would that strobe mode be? Maybe some big, obvious obstacles might be revealed, but the small things (e.g. Legos!) will go unobserved.


Without careful consideration and consistent effort to apply what you read in God’s word, your path is only illuminated by a strobe.


In Psalm 119:14-16, the psalmist delights in, does not forget, and meditates on the Lord’s will. Think especially about the last idea of meditation. This carries the idea of continual, focused, intentional thought and consideration. In the same psalm's verse 97, the Law is so beloved that it is meditated upon “all the day.”  


Perhaps you have a fairly common struggle of feeling like you need to check off your Bible reading or prayer as a task to complete so you can move on to other things. Worse, maybe because it's considered just a task to complete, it's easy to be delayed or pushed off until “later” or “tomorrow.” When we have this attitude, we're “saving batteries” but mostly just stumbling around in the dark! If you're not reading your Bible regularly, then you have little to meditate upon. You absolutely must plug in to God’s word and fill your heart and mind with the wonders of His will.


Just as the positive effect of keeping God’s word present in your heart in mind is diminished, so is the opportunity of positive influence on others decreased when we don’t let His light shine in us consistently. Paul tells the Ephesians to not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but expose them (Ephesians 5:7-17). If we walk as children of light, our daily practice shows the peace and joy that comes from a relationship with our Father. If we choose to turn that light off, we’ve not only diminished our impact, but we’re neglecting our responsibilities and not glorifying nor pleasing God.


Don’t let yourself be jerked around by the schemes of Satan because you’re not relying on the source of strength found in God’s word. And don’t let those around you miss out on the blessing of seeing God’s will in action in your life by not showing his love and light.  Keep the lights on!