Thursday, June 06, 2013
2 Corinthians 4:1-6
“Therefore, since it is by God’s mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart. We have renounced the shameful things that one hides; we refuse to practice cunning or to falsify God’s word; but by the open statement of the truth we commend ourselves to the conscience of everyone in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
It’s hard to walk in darkness. Even if we’re walking a path that we’ve walked before, it becomes a little trickier in the dark. Am I right? Like, getting up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I know where all the furniture pieces are in my room, and I know where they are in the hallway, and where the bathroom door is located. Yet, I still hold out my arms and hands with my back hunched over while squinting my eyes, trying not to walk into my dresser or ram my shoulder into a door frame. It’s not until I see the faint light coming from the “night-light” in the bathroom that I felt sure of my destination.
In life, we experience this feeling all of the time. We have a general idea of where we’re going, but we often find ourselves walking in the darkness. During the last semester of my Master’s program at Tennessee, I found myself in that situation. I thought I had a general idea of where my life was heading: I would finish my M.S. in Sport Management, get a job working for the Braves, move back to Atlanta, and continue life with my awesome super-dog, Blue. But looking back on that time, I realize I was not following “the light” and deep down, I was seeking that light.
I remember the night like it was last night. I had been pretty down in the dumps (to say the least), seeking understanding in the midst of the confusion that seemed to fall upon my life like an undetected tsunami. I found myself praying like I had never prayed before and I felt a strong urge to go for a run. I threw on running clothes, snagged my iPod, and darted out of my Old City loft. It was late at night and running at night by myself in the middle of Downtown Knoxville probably wasn’t the brightest idea. But, I followed that urge and left for my normal course. I headed up Jackson Ave., took a left on Gay St., and started sprinting down Gay St. (because it seemed like it was the only thing I could do – a leisurely jog was not in the books that night). I approached the Gay St. Bridge, which hangs over the Tennessee River, and went approximately halfway across and immediately stopped. I was breathing pretty hard and a song called, “Tiny Light” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals was playing through my headphones. That moment was a life-changing moment. Through cleansing tears, lots of tears, that moment was when I truly felt an overtaking and obvious presence and comfort. That moment was when I saw “the light” that I had been seeking deep down.
Now, I’m about to finish seminary at Candler School of Theology and I’m (surprisingly) working at a big church this summer. Who would have thought?? Not me. But God.
One thing our world most definitely needs more of is light. Our paths can be unsure when the things that weigh us down, cause us to stumble, or separate us from God lead us to journey in darkness. The darkness is real, but with encouragement I hope it does not overtake us. Through Christ and through each other, God has given us light. A light that can emanate from our souls and light up the whole world. So, go on and let your light shine!
Prayer: God, be with us when we are traveling through darkness. Rekindle the light you have given to each one of us and bless us with your ultimate light so that we can light up this world. Draw us towards those who are seeking to find that light. Amen.