Today my friend Erin Schue is taking a risk and sharing her thoughts on our daily Advent readings here. My sister in mothering this is a story from her pre-mommy days. A story about being lost.
" Jesus said, "For a brief time still, the light is among you. Walk by the light you have so darkness doesn’t destroy you. If you walk in darkness, you don’t know where you’re going. As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and shining through your lives. You’ll be children of light. " John 12: 35-36 (THE MESSAGE)
When I first moved to Colorado I went with a friend to stay in a cabin up in the foothills. It was January, cold, and snowy. When we arrived that afternoon, we went hiking of course, wanting to experience all that Colorado had to offer, knowing we wouldn’t go far and be back in time for dinner. Well, the “path”, being snow covered, was not so clear. We followed others’ tracks and mostly stayed on course. That is, until it started getting dark and the path we thought was leading us back to the cabin was, in fact, leading us farther from it. One of us had a flashlight, thankfully. So, we were hopefull we could find our way. We tried to backtrack, took a new route, went in some circles, and about 45 minutes later finally found our way back to the cabin. Warmth and food and a fire.
I can still remember being lost that night, almost 9 years ago. I can remember focusing on the light, which was pointing at the ground and the tracks made in the snow. Anywhere else you looked, it was just dark and you couldn’t see much. So, I just focused on the light, and took things one step at a time.
Jesus said ”If you walk in darkness, you don’t know where you’re going.” And this doesn’t have to do with hiking in the snow after the sun goes down. This has to do with belief. Jesus said that if I believe in the light, then that light is in me and shining through my life. It is such a beautiful picture, light in the darkness. Light to show the way. Just like the night I was hiking in the dark, light brought so much hope that we could find our way. There is so much brokeness and hurt and lies in the world, so many people that are lost in the dark. So, how do I live in a way where light shines through to the people and the places that need it? How am I walking by the light, right now, in my everyday pick up, drop off, run errands, potty train, make dinner, and do laundry life?
Here, at least, is a place to start. I can get closer to the Light. The actual Light of the World. Jesus. As I get closer to Him, I shine brighter. I can choose to be in His Word, so that I know and believe truth. Not lies. Truth like; I am loved (John 15:9) , and I am His (Gal 3: 26-27), I am forgiven (Eph 1:7), I have been created to do good works (Eph 2:10), I am equipped (2 Tim 3:16-17), and I am eternal (Psalm 16:11). I need to shine light on the lies the world throws at me, that money, pleasure, power and things will bring me joy and fullness. I need the light of God’s Word so that when the world says I am not good enough, or I don’t have anything to offer, I can counter it with His truth. When I am full of light myself, I’ll shine. And that light, can’t help but seep into the darkness that I encounter in my daily life.
So, like that night so many years ago, I am going to focus on the light and take things one step at a time.