If you know me at all, you know I go hard at stuff. If I get into something I really, really get into it. A couple years ago I set my sights on disc golf, or frisbee golf, or frolf or what ever else you wanna call it. I bought tons of discs and a big fancy backpack to hold them. I would spend a lot of time cruising Ebay looking for rare discs of all different brands and types. I’d wake up early in the morning to practice my drives and puts and midrange shots. If you’re into frolf you know this is very “un-folf” of me. It’s supposed to be a chill activity to causally play with your friends. This hobby is usually for the hippy types and they even have glow discs so you can frolf at night, crazy right? Well I bought a couple glow discs too, though I’ve yet to play at night.
Even though I was unwise in my spending and obsessive in my pursuit, God has been redeeming my various obsessions. One interesting way God has redeemed my disc golf obsession, is by teaching me lessons through it. Lessons on spending and responsibility for sure, but I have a more profound lesson in mind, involving my unused glow discs.
When I was in college I would keep my disc collection in my closet across from my bed. Every night before I would go to sleep, I’d turn off my lights and see the pink and green glow of the discs coming from the closet. Over and over I’d see the glow and my last thoughts before I was asleep would be about those discs. How cool is it that light energy is stored in the chemicals that make up the disc? It glows even though it’s power source is off. That’s insane!! It still blows me away when I think about it.
But on to the lesson! One night I was listening to a Ravi Zacharias sermon jam on YouTube where Ravi said, “And the spiritual challenge of the evangelist is to so breathe the Spirit of God into himself, so bathe his mind with the Word of God, so be in tuned with the Master Creator of this world, so bring his life in tune with the Lord Jesus Christ so that he will be a reflector of of the Lord.” This quote hung with me but it wasn’t until I turned off the lights that night that it really hit me! My job as a Christian is to be like those freaking glow discs!
The discs in my closet got hit by sunlight and by the lights in my room, if I had kept them under my bed or closed the doors to my closet they wouldn’t glow. If i’m not reading my Bible, if i’m not praying and actively fighting to live like Christ, I’m not going to shine his light into the world. As a Christian, I am not the source of my own light, but the closer I get to the true source of light, The Son of God, the more I’ll be charged up and the brighter I’ll shine in the darkness.
As the Apostle John puts it, Jesus is the “light of men”, and Jesus is the “light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”. Later in John’s gospel account Jesus says “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”(John 8:12). God made us to live by His light. There’s something special about being made in the Image of God that sets us apart from all the rest of creation. As image bearers we are to bear God’s image and represent Him, His character, His Truth, His love, His mercy and grace etc. to each other and to animals and plants and everything else in creation. We are made to know God and live on every Word He speaks to us, we are to walk by His Light, the lamp unto our feet that lights our paths.
I’m reminded of the tremendous glow that Moses had after coming down from Mt. Sinai in Exodus. He had been communing with God so much that the skin of his face literally radiated light! Over time his glow diminished and faded completely, but what happened physically to Moses is what happens to us spiritually every day. The more we commune with God and breathe in His Spirit and Truth, the more charged up we become. The more we spend time meditating on Jesus Christ and His nature and love, the more we will shine as lights in this world. But if we’re not spending time with the Lord our light diminishes and we look less and less like him in our thoughts and actions.
With this in mind, it’s easy to see that without spending time with God we will never shine as we ought. If we don’t expose ourselves to the light, we wont glow in the darkness. We follow the Light of the word and in turn we shine with his light wherever we go. Since we have this treasure in us, though we are humble jars of clay, we are the light of the world, a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden. This is why we are constantly reminded to stay attached to Christ, he’s the true vine and we’re the branches, without him we can do nothing. We have to do our jobs and shine bright, we can’t hide our light under a basket, we can’t hide under the bed or close the doors to the closet. We must let our light shine before others, so that they may see our Lord in us and give God our Father glory! And thus we must be charged up with His love and light.
When you want those stars to glow on your ceiling you hold them up close to the light. If you want to fulfill your role as a light in the world, get really close to the source of the light who is The Light of Men, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.