Walking towards the darkness of 2016


I remember a fairground ride. One which was more a “house” than a ride. Where we had to walk through “spooky corridors”, turn blind corners, go up dark steps, through narrow openings … I cannot remember what it was called – all fairground rides have dramatic names – but the reason I remember this ride this morning – the last of 2015 is this:

One small light bulb in the dark.

This morning I was given a very clear memory – a reliving of that ride.  Of how my walking towards that one solitary small light was a stumbling confusion. Yet – that same solitary bulb – when behind me – lit my way with ease. The same corridor, the same bulb, the same darkness. Yet where I was in relation to the light made a massive difference. In front? Stumbling and unsafe. Behind? Walking with confidence.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.'”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known. John 1:1-18

This morning His light is behind me. It lights where I am to go. It lights where I have been. It lights the darkness so much more than when I stumbled towards the light. Then I saw dimly. Now I see clearly. Then I saw fragments. Now I see connection. Then I stumbled. Now I walk with confidence.

Do I always walk with my head high, my heart soaring, and my motivation pure? Are you mad!  I am human too. Always will be. Proud to be frail and imperfect. Which allows me learning and humility. Which allows me the wonder of walking towards darkness – yet always in the light … WOW!

On this last day of 2015 – He reminded me of this: when we walk in the darkness TOWARDS the light we stumble. But when we walk towards the DARKNESS with the light behind us – we see clearly.

He has flipped something that has puzzled me this past year: How is it that I feel increasing confidence walking towards the darkness?

Towards those who are excluded, are in pain, who hurt, who are angry, who blame, who are lonely … Towards those who carry their faith like a heavy burden, a cross, a sacrifice, a duty and obligation … Towards those who speak the light but seem not to live in the light … Towards those who think love too soft to live by, who see rules as the backbone needed of love, who live life so stiff-necked they can bend neither to their God nor their fellow travellers … I have no answers. Simply an attraction to walk “towards” rather than “away” –

The verses this morning – those poetic, “classic”, good Christian verses – He flipped on their head.

His light is behind not in front. Instead of struggling to see my way – our way He lightens. Instead of tripping with my duty and burden – He and I freely dance as I go. Instead of me squinting into the light – I see with The Light.

I have not been walking towards the light – I have been walking away from the light – in perfect safety .

On this last morning of 2015 I have been given “a new light” for 2016. The same light as 2015. Just with a bright new perspective.

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

And then He gave me this. When I drive my car at night – I drive towards darkness. That is the only way I can. That is how I was taught. And I was also taught that when a car comes towards me and blinds me with its lights – I was taught to look only at the kerb in front, to focus on the kerb in front until the dazzling had passed.

And then He took me flying with these thoughts … we race together in the dark of early morning, He and I …

Imagine if we all danced towards the darkness. Towards those excluded. Towards those hurting. The lonely. The damaged. The weird ones. The ones who believe something we do not. Imagine if we all laughed as we walked away from the light – with the light lighting our way. Imagine the outflowing of love through the big doors of The Church. Love flowing outwards in the dark – not inwards towards the pain of looking at the light. Imagine how connected in this disconnected world that might be. Imagine …

In the beginning was the Word.

And He paused with this thought as we were high in the sky.

This last day of 2015 is not the beginning. It is not the end. It is a moment in time. Don’t look at the light. That was the beginning. Don’t walk towards the light. That was the beginning. Now is not the end. Now is the time to walk towards the dark in perfect safety.

No one has ever seen God.

So why try and see God? Why not let Him light your way as He does mine? Why not walk towards the darkness rather than to the light? Just as Jesus still does.

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Have a wonderful New Year celebration no matter where you are . Love is in the air tonight!

It always is.

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6 thoughts on “Walking towards the darkness of 2016

  1. Great post Paul, thank you once again. We always seem to think of walking toward the light, but as you say, the light is behind, He ‘has out back’ as we go off to the darkness, and funny thing, the light goes with us to light the way… we take the light into the darkness as we go. Yes sir, this is a great post!

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