The light that shines in the darkness

I am going to be thinking a lot this week about light and not just because I am hoping that the sun will come out and warm things up a bit (although that would be nice).  This week, we are continuing our series on the different parts of what it means to grow in Christ with this week’s focus being on the light / sun.  For plants to grow, sun is necessary.   While water helps the roots grow in the soil, the sun helps the plant to grow up and out (yes this is a gross oversimplification – I know that sun helps the roots and water helps the above-ground growth, but go with me here…  ).  The sun also helps in the photosynthesis process in helping the plant take in carbon dioxide and to convert it to oxygen.  I’ll probably post more about this later in the week, but I got thinking today about light shining in the darkness and how things that we hold in the dark often cannot stay there because light will shine in.

I thought about that as I read yet another story today about Tiger Woods.  I am not going to rip Tiger at this point because clearly that’s been done many times.  In fact, I am thankful for the many other posts I have read recently about the hope that this experience will help Tiger turn a different corner in his life.  But where this connects here is that so much of what has come out has been things that have lived in the shadows and the light has broken in.  That which is hidden will not always stay so.

The Mark McGuire story today got me thinking in a similar vein.  While there were suspicions all the way along that his physique and power during his home run chase were not 100% natural, it was not “official” until he released his statement today about admitting steroid use.  While I was glad to finally hear this admission from him (and hopefully from others during that era of baseball), I was saddened to read the sentence in his statement which read, “I wish I had never played during the steroid era.”  The temptation was apparently too great for him and he gave in.

These (like so many “big” stories) are about when light shines in and ones’ world comes crashing down.  Tiger Woods’ and Mark McGuire’s reputations will never be the same after what has transpired in the recent past for each.  But the reality is that the light does not have to be one that breaks people and destroys reputations.  For me, the light of Christ is that which has not only shone into the dark places of my life (and continues to shine into those places), but also is the light that leads me towards a different path.  It is the light that illumines my way, it is the light that others pull me along into, its the light that I seek to draw others along, its the light that brings hope, reconciliation, and life.

Which returns me to the plant.  A plant’s process is never done.  Until it dies, the plant is continually in the cycle of sun, moisture, growth, taking in CO2, sending out oxygen, and so forth.  So it is with us.  The light continues to shine, darkness continues to be revealed, light shines the path, and so forth.

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