An open invitation
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12)
If you were in a dark room and someone offered to turn on a light for you, would you just continue to stumble along, feeling your way around obstacles, risking bumping into things as you did? It is likely that you'd accept the invitation to have light brought into the room because you don't like stumbling aimlessly! Obstacles abound in life - many of them of our own making. Why would we choose to just stumble around in the dark, running into those obstacles repeatedly, when we are offered light to help us avoid them completely?
Jesus offers us light - light that dispels all manner of evil in our lives, pointing out obstacles and stumbling points so we don't run into them needlessly. Yet so many refuse to allow the light in. It seems to me that we get a little too used to this idea of 'feeling our way along' in life, not really wanting to give up our 'control' over our steps - even if there are unseen obstacles in our path. It is that stubborn rebellion that keeps us going around in circles, never really making much progress. Light has been offered, but we find the offer 'isn't the right time', or 'it might not be as good as I want'.
The one who accepts the invitation to come into light and move away from darkness isn't assured there will be no obstacles at all, but at least we have an awareness of their existence and God's help to avoid them completely! Following someone in the dark is kind of like the blind leading the blind. Jesus never offered to lead us in darkness - he only offered to lead us in light. We might not think it is the right time to be 'led', but if we want true freedom, we follow! This might seem a little like a contradiction to some - follow to know freedom instead of just going whatever way we please.
The invitation is open. You can either accept it or continue to stumble around in your own darkness. The risk of following isn't nearly as great as that of stumbling around in the dark! Just sayin!