Friday, October 26, 2012

Driving in the Dark

The sun had not yet risen but growing light was blooming color back into the world. My headlights pierced fog’s cloak, the friend of the night that wrapped trees and road in a cold gossamer veil. Sliding quietly up the road, a large dark shape suddenly filled the opposite lane. I did not see the vehicle except by the deep shade that blended in with the shadows of the banking curve and the trees. My headlight beams bounced off shiny surfaces as the driver of the other vehicle drifted on his way the other direction--no lights burning. Glancing in the rear-view mirror, I slowed and watch the car until out of site, no signs of light anywhere, driving in dark’s diminuendo.

I watched the vehicle long enough to realize this fellow had no intention of turning on his lights. How could he see? Could he truly drive safe with the light he had? Perhaps, but the driving is slow and even poses a danger to other drivers--especially when the unspoken rule of driving around these parts is “when approaching a vehicle moving the opposite direction of your route of travel, steer into the center of the road.”

Curiosity got the best of me. I turned my lights off, to see what the other driver saw. Not much. I knew where I was going, but could barely see. I slowed down, cautious. The questions came flooding.

Why was he driving without lights? Did he just wake up? Did his headlights work at all? What’s the purpose of driving blind?

The spiritual principles collided head-on.

God is light and intends for life’s journey to be illuminated, which means there must be a relationship between God and the individual. The light must be “on” to the eyes that need to see.

When I turned my lights off and drove for a moment, the picture was clear that in these conditions, light was necessary. So why turn off what is needed most? If the world is without light and I have light, what is accomplished by quenching the light except that I now try to be like what I am not. This is dangerous to me and to others.

Can I keep it between the ditches of life if I hide my light?

How am I helping those who need to see? Sure, I may know where I am going--perhaps I could continue on with eyes closed, but God is not in that business: He is the eye-opener and intends for us to journey not by our “feels” but by what He plainly reveals before us.

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