May 13, 2007

Driving in the Darkness As Surely as the Sun Rises

Originally posted: 7:28am Saturday, Mar 24 on Facebook

This note is a long time coming (I’ve been really busy, so I have a few “notes in waiting” – but unfortunately no ladies, if you know the term :). Its inspiration was the last time I went home. Actually, it was on the way back to Kentucky, just before the semester started. I began driving I-26 not long before sunrise. I found two things on which to meditate during the first part of this return trip.The first, was quite simple and corresponds to John 1:5. As I was driving in the darkness, I naturally had my headlights on (Ps 119:105) and was able to see a little ahead of myself. For the record, I love driving at night; I just think things are so beautiful, especially when I can see the stars. With my eyes adjusted properly, I can observe the beauty of creation veiled in the darkness of night (and occasionally pay attention to the road as well ;) Things appear so beautifully clear. The problem is that I can only see a short distance ahead of myself and can’t see anything on the sides of the road. I can only see dimly (1 Cor 13.7). Thus, I am unaware of all types of danger. Though I have the illusion of being able to see, in reality, I may as well be blind.Further, as I drove along 26, occasionally, a vehicle would pass from the other direction (bear in mind, I am speaking about early in the morning). When they would pass, the light from their headlights would shine on me, blinding me (sometimes so much that I couldn’t see the road). This is one of the few things that I do not like about driving at night. My eyes had been adjusted to the darkness of night and suddenly a car would be opposing me, blinding me with the light that it projects from itself. I couldn’t help but realize that this is exactly how the Gospel of Christ is to those who reject him (
John 3.19; Acts 26.18).Before I move on to the second point, please understand that, for the sake of this illustration, I will not speak / write in a scientific sense. The second, and main, thing that I meditated upon, was the speed at which the sun rises. I-26 goes from East to West in fairly straight line. As I said, I began driving at 70 mph before sunrise pretty much due West. When I looked in the rearview mirror at different points it was totally dark at first. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, the sun began to rise, with me still traveling as fast as the law would allow. It was to no avail though, no matter how fast I traveled, the sun rose and overtook me. Before I knew it, it was light. In the same way, the judgment of Christ will overtake all those who are in the darkness. No matter how hard a person may try to run, it is all in vain. This is a sad thing to me, as so many that I know are without him, but regardless of my feelings, the truth stands.

Related to this meditation is that of timing. When exactly is sunrise? To a person standing at point A, it may be X, but to a person standing at point B, it may be Y. How does one know it is sunrise and at what point can one say this exact moment is sunrise (and that the previous moment was not and the next moment is not)? Sunrise is a tricky thing. We have no doubt when it is mid-day or evening (unless you are on my sleep schedule, then you have to check the clock ;). These are solid times that are easy to recognize. We also have no doubt when it is night, but it is difficult to define the sunrise. Even with an online dictionary, there are (at least) three DIFFERENT ways to define it. There are clear signs that it is coming. There is no doubt in the observer’s mind that sunrise is coming soon, but when exactly?! Further, there is no doubt in the observer’s mind that sunrise has occurred after the fact. In fact, the whole event is QUITE sudden (Luke 17.24; 21.34). One moment it is dark and (seemingly) the next moment, it is light. May we all be prepared and not come empty-handed!!!

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