I was driving home tired, rubbing a headache with one hand and avoiding rabbits in the road with the other. After breaking so hard I hiccuped, my eyes drifted across the street to a dark lawn and two tiny floating lights above the grass. On second glance I realized it was two people lying on their backs holding open cell phones above their faces.
At first I felt nostalgic, even envious that they took the time to reflect and enjoy the cool night air and watch the stars like I used to in college. It’s been so long…
But now that I’m writing this, I realize my initial observation missed the point; these two would-be stargazers were wasting a special opportunity. Instead of examining the great expanse of nature above and around them, they were looking at their phones, unable to see anything beyond the small lights shining in the dark. No moon for them, no nature, and no awe–just the blue glow of battery-powered technology.
Jesus 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). In fact, he compared his lighted ways to a non-believers’ darkness quite often (John 3:19, John 12:46).
I lived my whole life staring at that “light” thinking it was better than the frightening, uncertain, and even dangerous alternative. Darkness is thick with mystery and the unknown. The way isn’t clear, and it may be difficult to find on your own.
But like the two people laying in the grass–gazing towards the heavens but blinded by their cell phones–it’s better for us to shut off the lights and allow our eyes to adjust to the world around us; there is so much more to experience and discover when we’re not distracted by one limited viewpoint. Sure, we may be overwhelmed by the expansive new world we find waiting for us, and there may be some stumbling and bruised shins. But in the end, we’ll truly be able to see one another–and ourselves–for what we really are: a people walking in darkness who are damned happy about it.