Scripture has much to say about darkness and light. Darkness is bad and light is good. There seems to be a sense that darkness in on the increase and the light is not to be found. Surely this is more a function of our lack of focus.
I think it is grounded on our inability to stay focused in the present. The past is full of hurts and sins, inflicted on others, on us by others, and self-inflicted. The future seems like a dark room full of monsters hiding in the shadows. We have learned to fear the darkness, where the unknown lurks, whether it be in dark rooms or in an uncertain future. We have no control over past or future. We can only take action in the present.
Jesus showed us the way when he said, “Follow me.” To follow him, we have to turn our back on the past and go step-by-step into the future, looking no further than the next step. To the past, we need to apply forgiveness and forgetfulness. The future requires our trust and hope. These are only possible for the born-again, following Jesus.
Only through the new birth are we able to forgive and forget and trust and hope like Jesus.
I know some will say, “My past was great.” It reminds me of the Springsteen hit, “Glory Days.” Maybe you were one of those for whom high school and or college was glorious. I have trouble relating to you, but I suspect your focus on the past is draining your present of possibility and opportunity. Just as you can’t change your past, you can live off of it either.
Some will say, “My future looks great.” I can’t relate much to you either. I suspect you are probably young. In youth, we sometimes hold to the myth that our future is in our hands. It won’t take too many years of living to learn that things rarely turn out as we plan.The future isn’t always less than we plan; it’s just rarely what we plan.
Focus on the future can cause us to be “one of these days” people. We will do something for Jesus, go to the mission fields, become more like Jesus, live in the light. . . one of these days.
Isn’t it time we start living? Darkness is real. It’s behind us, in front of us, and, increasingly, all around us. There is only one real light. We need to focus and follow him. Then what can the darkness do to us?