You would think he was shot with a taser, or even worse, forced to watch Yo Gabba Gabba. He screams, hides his face, and starts flailing whatever arms and legs aren’t being used to cover his eyes. The light is so bright that it is painful. Even when he knows it is coming, and even if he wants to be able to see, the light is always more overwhelming than expected.
As light is a very common context in which we discuss our faith, I can’t help but compare my son’s reaction to how the rest of us perceive the light of the world. As Christians, we claim to have seen the light that is Christ and we dedicate our lives to following Him. We say that we want to get closer to God. We say we want a greater understanding of who He is and His will for our lives.
But how do we react when He actually starts to reveal it to us? Are we happy that the light is being turned on, or are we immediately overwhelmed by all that it reveals to us? Can getting a glimpse of God’s plan for our lives be painful and scary? Do we hide our eyes, throw a tantrum, and wish we were back in the dark? It sure seems that way sometimes, at least for me.
It seems that light can often be much scarier than the dark. It reveals things about ourselves that we either didn’t know or wish we could forget. It exposes things about our surroundings that we simply do not know how to handle. Light can show us a path that we are just not ready to travel. Yet, it is what we seek.
It is our desire to have all things revealed to us, but we are rarely ready for how bright the light truly is and all that it reveals. But, just like my son, the longer we are in the light and the more we expose ourselves to it, the more it becomes a part of our environment and a part of everything we do. After the light is on for a while, we adjust and quickly forget what life was like without it.
It is up to us to constantly seek Christ and spend as much time in the light as possible. That is how we avoid the pain and fear that comes with having the lights turned on before we are ready. That is how we rid ourselves of the comfortable ignorance of living our lives in the dark.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12 NIV)