Good morning to you wherever you are <3
In our class last Sunday we talked about what it means to “walk in the light” as in following Jesus. Our sermon series for Lent is from the book of John. Also I recently did a study* of 1,2 and 3 John AND had listened to a great sermon from another church on this.
So I was very much passionate about the topic.
I know…I am usually so laid back when it comes to stuff like this….
Both resources I used explained that walking in the light does not mean we will be free of temptation to sin.
“To walk in darkness is to live without the benefit of God’s illumination and guidance. It is not the ordinary struggle with sin that every one of us is faced with, but a resistance to God’s conviction….Persistent existence in darkness means resisting the light of the Holy Spirit.” **Jared Ahren at Harvest Community Church Hoffman Estates/February 7th “Living in the Light”
The example I shared in class was one that is an obvious temptation in the explicit internet culture in which we live and function; but there are subtle ways that I can walk in darkness and resist God’s influence.
One is just in simple courtesy and kindness to others.
And one of the places where I find that struggle to be most difficult for me is the drive-up window at the bank, of all places.
Because when I go to the drive-thru, it is not for speed or convenience. I opt for this method of banking on days when I really don’t want to be polite.
I don’t want to make small talk with a stranger.
I want to put my deposit in a tube and get my paper back and be alone with my thoughts.
I can barely tolerate the teller greeting me through her microphone and asking how I am on those days.
So imagine my shock the first time I reached out to grab that plastic cylinder and saw my own mug on a TV screen…and seconds later the smiling image of the person inside the bank welcoming me and asking me how I am.
Grumpy. That’s how I am.
Also, anti-social and feeling like my life is a fish bowl all of a sudden since I realize my face is now on a TV screen inside the bank as I struggle to muster a smile. And all the while, miserable that I can’t be nice and warm and friendly instead of feeling self-conscious and awkward in a drive-up lane.
I am pretty sure God didn’t save me and bring me into His Kingdom so I can pick and choose when I will be nice to people or that my kindness should rely on my level of self-confidence on a given day.
Thus, according to the teaching I have been exposed to, I need to acknowledge this area inside of me that still wants to maintain control over when and how I deal with other people.
I actually have to ask God to help me be nice to the bigger than life image of the person just outside my window because that is a real person having a real day at work and I may be only one of a few people who offer a smile and courtesy.
It means I have to NOT choose the anonymity and safety of the very appealing, not-human machine in the last lane and force myself to make contact with a live person.
It makes me think of an old Max Lucado quote that basically said…God loves us just the way we are, but He loves us too much to leave us that way.
This whole struggle may be one you can relate to, or you may be rolling your eyes wondering what kind of goof-ball I really am.
But I know this.
Each and every one of us has places where we harbor patterns of darkness; places where we do not allow God to guide us. Places where we resist His correction.
The only way I know to walk in the light is to ask God to show me my own dark places. It is usually a bit unpleasant and requires cooperation with Him to overcome, but there is no place I would rather be than in His Light.
And I think everyone from my dearest loved one to the teller at the bank would agree…it is the best place for me to be <3
* Kelly Minter “What Love Is”