Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Navigation, please

Later, in one of his talks, Jesus said to the people, “I am the Light of the world. So if you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, for living light will flood your path.” 
I usually do pretty well navigating someplace I am quite familiar with, even when the light has faded and I am faced with total darkness - I just traverse that space a little slower than usual and with a whole lot more caution. Why? Darkness doesn't allow things to reveal themselves to us in quite the same way as light does - they get revealed, just with a whole lot of stumbling! At night, I often navigate mom back to bed several times, not turning on any lights. I act as her navigator - she follows my lead. With her macular degeneration, even when the lights are on, she still has a whole lot of darkness to overcome, especially with the advancing of dementia on top of the blindness. So, as long as she is following someone, she does pretty well. Some of us would do well to realize we never have to navigate life alone - there is a "lead" we can choose to follow - one that allows "living light" to flood our path!
Light isn't all we need. We need a "navigator" to help us know the course we should take. The one who navigates our lives is also the one who directs the course of the light. If we hold an ordinary  flashlight in front of us, how well do we see what is around us? Do we see what is behind us? Do we see much out ahead of us? That limited light source really doesn't flood our path with light - it just illuminates "some" of the path. If we convert to the use of a floodlight type flashlight, or one of those "tactical" ones, how much differently are things illuminated around us? The difference is astonishing. The clarity improves a hundred-fold. "Floodlight" living is not only safer, it brings comfort to our souls because we can know what is there much easier.
Yet, even with the brightest of lights to illuminate our path, we still need a navigator to help us take the right path. A whole lot of paths can be exposed by the light, but knowing which one to take isn't all that easy. Mom has a tendency some days to just stand there, looking around, and it is quite clear to me she doesn't know which way to go. She knows where she wants to go, but she doesn't remember the direction on her own. It takes a short turn in the wrong direction to send her looking for what she will never find! She won't find it because it isn't down that path. There are times we just take short turns that lead us down pretty wrong paths in life. This is why we so desperately need a navigator - we don't see clearly where each path leads despite the fact we know where it is we want to go! 
We could stumble around, doing the best we can with the limited light we have; or we could allow Jesus to illuminate our path, and then navigate us down the right path. Just sayin!