Agile and Aware

“I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.” (John 8:12)

If you have ever hit your toe on some object while stumbling around in the dark, you know how much pain a tiny 'mess-up' like that can result in. In some moment of "altered alertness" you came into full contact with that inanimate object - never intending to, but regardless of your intent, it happened. We "almost" avoided the contact - just a small margin of error - not a huge deviation from course - just a tiny margin resulted in such significant pain. Sometimes the "errors" we experience in life that cause us more than a little pain are not the result of  a "huge" margin of error, but "smaller margins" of error - we call them compromises. We often "stumble" where there is no light! The truth is: We NEED light! Nothing dispels darkness other than light.

Jesus said he is the world's light - no one following him will stumble around in the dark. There is plenty of light in his pathway. So, why do we still experience "margins of error" which cause us so much pain in life? I think it is more likely our level of 'altered alertness' which gives us more concern - not the degree of light we have been given. My attention gets diverted because I am intent on something else. I engage my mind in the 'thing' I am intent on, not on the obstacles in my path. In trying to focus so intently on the 'thing', I exclude the 'awareness' I have to the very things which would bring me harm. This is the case with the things bringing pain into our lives through our 'altered alertness' in relationships, business dealings, finances, spiritual growth, etc. We likely know the path is riddled with these obstacles, but we are so intent on something else, we 'collide' with the obstacles instead of avoiding them!

Did you ever stop to consider what alertness means? In the simplest terms it means to be "fully aware" and attentive. We have a similar word in our English language - when we say we are "keenly" aware of our surroundings, we are implying we are "attentive". One of the very 'telling' signs of our level of alertness is our ability to be agile. Agility of mind helps us choose direction, while the agility of body helps us correct course quickly. In the same way, when we are "agile" in spirit, we often avoid the collision course with the compromises which will bring us much pain. We have been given plenty of light, but we also have to exercise a degree of alertness in order to be "agile" - responsive to warning signs and the ability to make course corrections which will keep us from experiencing the collision course! Sometimes I think we demand more light when all we really need is a little more attentiveness to the light we have been given. Just sayin!

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