Running in the Dark and the Light

shoesOne of the things I have noticed about Bakersfield is that the city enjoys using the sidewalk to embed all sorts of things that in many cities would be put off to the side of the sidewalk. On my run last night I came across fire hydrants, telephone pole support wires, traffic signs, tree planters, and more all right in the middle of the sidewalk. These things could be easily be run into if your vision was impaired. What is more there aren’t many street lights on this stretch of sidewalk either…which means your vision is impaired!

It occurred to me how easy it is to hurt yourself when you don’t have enough light to see what is in your path. It can be quite dangerous and even painful if you aren’t careful. If I was really trying to be safe rather than run decently well I would probably slow down a bit in some places.

Then there were the cars. Cars help because their headlights show you what is in the way as they go by. I welcome the cars…unless they have their highbeams on. What happens in that moment is that my world goes from dark and unseeable to bright and unseeable. An over abundance of light or a misdirection of light can blind you just as much as being in the dark.

Let’s spin this to theology. When you run in the dark you can easily get hurt…we know in the psalms that the word of God is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. So we need the word of God to help show us the way but notice what you don’t do with the lamp. You don’t shine it in your eyes. I have seen people who got so fired up about the Bible that it had the same destructive result as if they hated the Bible. Here is how the Bible says it,

Desire without knowledge is not good—
    how much more will hasty feet miss the way! – Proverbs 19:2

That verse reminds us that our desires must be informed or directed by knowledge. When one discovers the power of the scriptures and of the Holy Spirit, if one doesn’t have knowledge, they can twist those things to fit themselves (check out the guys who tries to use Jesus and Paul’s power to cast out demons in Acts 19). You don’t buy a 10 million lumen spoghtlight to shine it in your eyes. I see people do that with the Bible all the time and I see it done with a monumental amount of misdirected and uninformed zeal behind it. You don’t want to run in the dark. You also don’t want to run with lights shining in your face. You want to run with the light at your feet, illuminating the way as you go.

So run…run with endurance and run with zeal but also run wisely.

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