Stumbling in the dark

By Leonard Lauriault

Well, it’s been a couple of days since we confused our internal clocks again by going to Daylight Savings Time. While I’ll eventually get used to the time change, the past few days haven’t been so pleasant because I’ve revisited some previous experiences related to waking up an hour earlier in a dark room.

First, we delude ourselves into thinking we know where everything in the room is until it’s pitch black and we lose our bearings as we spin in pain because we bumped into a piece of furniture. Regaining our bearings is just about impossible until a glimmer of light is found. This also can happen in our Christian life if we become complacent in Bible study, church attendance, and Christian living (Proverbs 16: 18; 2 Corinthians 13: 5; 2 Timothy 2: 15). We must maintain a balance in each of these areas to not lose our bearings during the dark times in our life, possibly losing our way altogether (Psalm 119: 9, 10; John 14: 6; Hebrews 10: 19-25).

Another pitfall of darkness is poor depth perception. I’ve found closed doors earlier than I anticipated, slamming my hand into them while reaching for the doorknob, if not hitting them face-first (partially open doors are a real hazard, if they open into the room).

Poor time perception also is a problem. The later sunrise can give the misimpression that there’s plenty of time to get ready for work. We will, however, have an extra hour of daylight after work for outside activities. Still, unless we plan to use that time wisely, it’s not likely to be of much benefit.

In our spiritual life, we have a tendency to put things off until a more convenient time, such as thinking we’ll have more time and money to give after the children are grown and gone. If we’re not faithful with the little time and money we have now we probably won’t be any more faithful with them later (Luke 16: 10-12; 19: 11-26).

We learn more about the danger of procrastination in Jesus’ description of an unwise servant who was caught off-guard (Luke 12: 42-47; Romans 1: 19, 20).
A worst-case scenario of mañana-ism regards those who put off coming to Christ until a more convenient time (Acts 24: 25). Anyone becoming obedient to God in their final days is just as saved as lifelong faithful Christians (Matthew 20: 1-16; Acts 6: 7; Romans 6: 17, 18, 3-7; 1 Peter 1: 22-25); most people, though, die before they hope to (James 4: 13, 14; Luke 12: 16-20). We need to maintain focus on the Son to not be caught off-guard because time ran out; the clock is ticking (Romans 13: 11-14).

Eventually we become accustomed to getting up in the dark (about the time the sun catches up with daylight-saving time). Our night-vision capabilities improve, helping us avoid hindrances like furniture, walls, and closed doors by differentiating between shades in the darkness.

While the old saying, “Familiarity breeds contempt,” is often accurate concerning interpersonal relations, a re-statement of that concept I read many years ago regarding most other things, particularly sin, goes, “Familiarity breeds acceptance.” Wasn’t it Hitler’s propaganda minister who said that if you repeat a lie often enough people will eventually come to believe it?

We mustn’t allow ourselves to be duped into thinking that sin is acceptable because we may become contemptuous or even fearful of the light (John 3: 19-21; Hebrews 10: 26, 27; 2 Thessalonians 2: 9-12; Colossians 2: 8). Without being condescendingly judgmental, we can and should demonstrate how pleasant living in the light really is (Ephesians 4: 17-24; 1 Peter 2: 11, 12; Matthew 5: 14-16; 1 Corinthians 5: 9-13).

Changing the time in the fall isn’t nearly as bad as springing forward because we go from daylight to daylighter. It’s also that way with church attendance, Christian living and personal Bible study. When we walk in the light, we’re more likely to see what lurks in the edges of the shadows understanding that, while those traps don’t seem nearly as vicious as what’s hiding in the deeper darkness, they are because the results of being trapped are the same as the results of being devoured (1 Timothy 3: 7; Proverbs 9: 15,1 6; Hebrews 12: 1; 2 Timothy 2: 24-26; 2 Peter 2: 20; 1 Peter 5: 8).

When we spring our clocks forward for daylight-saving time, using a nightlight for a few days so a glimmer of light will be more readily visible might be beneficial. God’s word and his Spirit are definitely necessary as our ever-present source of light to keep us on track in life (Psalm 119: 105).
Is that light in your life?

Leonard Lauriault is a member of the church of Christ