About a month ago, I moved from living in the suburbs to having a place right in the city. Doing this has really opened up a lot of doors for me, as my life is no longer run by rigid bus schedules and the fear of getting stuck somewhere. I'm loving the flexibility to come and go as I please, and the simplicity of being able to get home with ease. All of this has allowed me to be more relaxed and has even encouraged me to be a bit more adventurous, in going out to new places.
One of the best advantages of living so close to the city, is that walking is now an option. A 25 minute walk to and from work isn't the most ideal or efficient way of getting there, so I most often take my bike or the metro. This being said, every now and then, I take advantage of the opportunity to spend time with friends and I'm willing to miss the last bus or metro home, knowing that a refreshing walk is always an option.
Working a job with late hours means that if I do walk home, it is quite often between the hours of 1-3 o'clock in the morning. Walking home this late is certainly interesting, as night life in the city is a whole lot different than in the daytime. I am very fortunate that for the most part, my city is safe to walk around in. That being said, walking home at night has revealed a strong natural instinct, which I've remarked ties in very strongly with the Christian walk.
Light. There is something incredibly important about it. When everything goes dark, our first instinct is to be drawn towards the light. It's true for insects, it's true in power outages and it's true walking home at night. Light. In the Bible, we read verse after verse, based around the subject of light, all of which parallel attributes that we value and search for; safety, hope, guidance and purpose. Let's take a quick look at how the Bible touches upon these subjects with the overarching idea of light.
How comfortable are you maneuvering around in unfamiliar places in the dark? To speak for myself, I'm gonna give this one a big no. Whether I'm at a friend's house and need to make my way around, after lights have been turned off or if I have plans to meet up with someone during the darker months of the year, and need to navigate unfamiliar streets to get there, being in the dark is not my preferred way of getting around. In John 8:12, Jesus states, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." Our lives can be like navigating in the dark, unknown world, but right here, Jesus states that in this world, He is the light. Because of Him, we don't have to walk in darkness. He lights our path, He comforts our hearts and when we accept Him as our Lord and follow Him with our lives, we have the ultimate light. We have the ultimate safety of not only His presence here with us on Earth, but the security of spending with Him, once our lives here on Earth are over.
A very long time ago, the prophet Isaiah predicted the coming of Jesus, the Saviour. One of the beautiful ways that he used to describe the hope that He would bring is this: "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned" (Isaiah 9:2). Imagine that - just take a second to visualize it: People walking around in the dark, the 'land of deep darkness'. Sounds a little scary, right? But then, when all hope seems lost, a light starts to rise, it's the dawn, the sun is coming up and there is hope. It's Jesus, and He has come to save these people from this darkness and bring them into a life greater than they could even imagine! Wow.
From time to time, when walking home, I come to a road where all of the lights have been turned off, because of the road construction that week. The first thing that I do is flip on my phones' flashlight, so that I can see where I am going and any dangers that might lay ahead. King David, who wrote Psalm 119, reflects on how much He loves the Word of God and how reviving it is to life itself. He writes, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105). A lamp to the feet protects one from stumbling over any obstacle in the way, and a light to the path gives attention to possible dangers, as well as guides the walker along the safest path to take. This is an incredible metaphor for how the Word of God (the Bible) guides us as well. It makes us aware of obstacles that may come against us, equips for when problems do come our way and gives us instruction on what paths of life to take, in order to be victorious in this life and in the next. It really is the most amazing book.
Now that we have found this incredible light, we aren't meant to just keep it for ourselves. We are give the instruction to share it with others, so that they too can experience this safety, hope and guidance. Jesus said, "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:14-16). Those of us who have experienced this light, now have a purpose to share it with others, so that they too may come out of the darkness and be changed by this glorious light.
It encourages me, to be typing and reading back over these things. These thoughts serve as little reminders to me, and hopefully to you as well, of the hope that we have been given, the help that we have in this world and the importance that lies in sharing it with others. If you have any questions, any additional thoughts about this, or you have something that you'd like to share, I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.