When my son was growing up, one of his most favorite toys was Legos. He must have had hundreds of thousands of those beloved colorful building blocks. He would spend hours upon hours building things with those little blocks. There was the longhouse needed for a school project, the play city we built when he was home with chicken pox, many animals, airplanes, automobiles, and other assorted creations. If he could imagine it, he most likely could, and did, build it with Legos. Over the years the containers that stored his Legos had to become larger to accommodate the newest building sets that he acquired.
The sheer creativity that Legos brought to his imagination was wonderful, but there was a downside. There were times, and they were many, when all of his Lego pieces would not make it back into the storage container. A piece or two would occasionally, well actually often, get left on the floor. Any parent of a young child that plays with Legos knows full well about the dangers of walking around in their bare feet the dark. On more than one occasion I was the recipient of the extremely sharp pain that comes from stepping on one of those colorful sharp building bricks. I swear, that I often thought that if there ever was a Lego piece that was missing, my bare feet were sure to find it in the middle of the night! Those little sharp rigid building blocks are strong, one source I consulted said that it takes over 950 pounds of force on a Lego block before it will crack. So the only thing that happens when you step on a Lego block is the plastic doesn’t give and the sharp edges dig right into the most tender area of your feet. Landing on one of those babies in the dark could cause many of us to utter words not fit for another person’s ears. Perhaps that’s the most valid reason ever for wearing slippers around the house, especially at night.
Thinking back on his childhood and the dangers of stepping on Legos in the dark got me thinking about light. Had I simply turned on the lights and eliminated the darkness in the room, I would have avoided the pain of stepping on one of those little blocks. But in the middle of the night, surrounded by darkness, when you are tired and have to get up out of bed to go to the bathroom, you don’t necessarily want to turn on the light, because if you do, it might wake you fully up, then you wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep. But, trust me, if you step on a Lego, you’d be more awake than turning on a light would ever make you.
It’s safe to say that walking around your home in the light is easier than trying to navigate in the dark, especially if your child plays with Legos. We need the light. Light is practical for navigating our surroundings. Light is vital – almost all living beings depend upon the light for their food and energy. It’s safe to say that without light there would be no earth. No earth means no us. Yup, light is vital.
There’s another kind of light that is vital to us. Spiritual light. In the Old Testament book of Genesis, the first thing that God creates is light. God creates the light, because He is light. Jesus told us that God is Light. John reiterates this concept in the books of John and 1 John. God is pure. He is truth. Just as light, the physical light that we know illuminates so that we can see, nothing can hide from God’s light. There are things that we cannot see the the darkness, a lack of purity, hidden things. Evil lurks in the darkness. Metaphorically I believe that God’s light means life and salvation. I think that God’s Word and the Holy Spirit is the primary light for us believers. The Holy Spirit came down on the disciples in the form of tongues of flames, illuminating God’s love for all who were present at the time of Pentecost. And, the Holy Spirit continues to illuminate the way for us believers today. The Holy Spirit illuminates the Scriptures to increase our understanding, and I also think that the Holy Spirit also illuminates the darkness within ourselves to make us sensitive to our own sins. Immersing ourselves in His Word, learning, growing, and walking in His ways is one of the best ways to avoid the pain that overtakes us in this world’s darkness.
We know that God is pure, and we are not. So, because Jesus made a way for us to be in God’s presence, in God’s light, we should always aim to walk in the light. We can walk in the light of God each and every day, but it’s not always easy. At times we will stumble. We will fail. We will fall. But God’s grace enables us to pick ourselves up, and return to the the light, His light.
How about you? Are you walking in the light?
And, if you have small children that play with Legos, do yourself a favor, turn on the lights or wear slippers at night, you’ll thank me for it.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12, ESV)
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5, ESV)