Sunday, March 3, 2013

Total Blackout...

Have you seen the tv show where contestants try to win money by going into a totally dark room and then trying to identify different things that they cannot see? According to the show's website, "Total Blackout is an extreme game show in which contestants battle each other and their fears in a series of challenges, confronting their own worst enemy - themselves. However there is a twist - all challenges are played in complete darkness: no lights, no blindfolds, and no-holds barred as players face their fears and unexpected surprises in a series of nerve-wracking games."

For some perverse reason, my family loves this show. They laugh at contestants trying to identify a sheep and calling it a snake (who in the world would guess snake?!?!) The contestants are usually freaking out in the first few seconds of the challenge, because they are TOTALLY in the dark and their imaginations take over. Even though they KNOW the studio isn't going to put them in any real danger, their minds imagine the very worst and their actions follow. Very few remain calm...and of course those who do probably wouldn't be on the show because they aren't as much fun to watch.

I honestly thought this was a show was some new idea. I didn't say a GOOD idea, but a new one all the same. Who ever thought of doing something like this? Then I remembered WAY WAY back when I was a little kid. Our school used to put on a "haunted house" every year. We would go through the darkness of the back of the auditorium, sometimes without even enough light to see your hand before your face, and we'd touch the most gruesome of things - cold spaghetti, grapes in get the picture. I don't remember any of the things that jumped out at me, but the things I got close enough to touch - those I remember vividly!

You might be wondering why, here in the beginning of March, my random thoughts are on this subject. Well, it's all because of a devotional I read today. Now, mind you, my thoughts have been on darkness quite a bit lately as we prepare to go on a mission trip to Cambodia to work with a ministry that truly battles in some of the darkest of areas. It was, however, this devotional that smacked me in the face today. Don't know why I've never seen it before.

It was based on a passage from Exodus 10: 21-23 when God told Moses:

21 Raise your hand up toward the heavens, and a great darkness will cover the land of Egypt, a heavy, oppressive darkness.
22 So Moses raised his hand up toward the heavens, and a deep darkness settled over all the land of Egypt for three days. 23 It was so dark that people could not even see each other, and no one dared to venture out from their houses for three wholedays. But all the people of Israel had light where they lived.
It was that last part that caught me..."But all the people of Israel had light where they lived."
Can you imagine living in TOTAL darkness. Everything you touch becomes frightening and unfamiliar...but you look in the distance and you see a light. You might even want to get to the light, but you can't see how to get there! A few brave souls might make the journey, fighting dangers real and imagined, but most will just sit and wonder at why there is light over there and not here. They might even become angry and declare the light to be some sort of evil thing.
We, as the people of God, have light. It is within us because Jesus lives within us. People desperately need that light, even if they have grown hostile toward it. But most will not be able to come to it. They are too far off, too trapped by darkness, or just too afraid. So it is our job to go to them, for wherever we go, we take the Light. It's not that WE are doing something grand. We are simply a vessel. Wherever we go, we take Jesus...and I have the feeling He wants us to step out more. He lives in us, yet we are content to sit inside our own little dwellings, happy that WE have the light and don't suffer in darkness. 
Does that picture strike anyone besides me? Suddenly, watching others stumble in the darkness isn't so funny anymore. 
I've given myself something to really "chew" on today. It's time to move out of our comfort zones and let the Light shine...for "the darkness cannot overtake it" if we will simply be unafraid to walk toward that darkness and share what is within us - Jesus.
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine...let it shine, let it shine, let HIM shine!

John 1:5

The Voice (VOICE)
A light that thrives in the depths of darkness,
    blazes through murky bottoms.
It cannot and will not be quenched.

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