Saturday, February 5, 2011

Called to the Light

[God] called you into his marvelous light.
I Peter 2:9

The ring of the phone, the sound of a voice or a "ping" saying "you've got mail," draws us to investigate and when we discover it's an invitation to something wonderful, our hearts reach out with anticipation. We can imagine, dream, and hope long before we fully partake of what is offered and as the heart reaches out we experience a foretaste of the happiness to come. That is how it is with God's calling to the light.

We know darkness all too well. Our personal darkness: Disappointments; discouragements; times when we try hard but simply can't pull it together and other times when we fail because we never tried at all. There are broken relationships and broken dreams. Confusion and the sour taste of problems without solutions.

Add to this, the darkness of a rapidly devolving world: Hatred and violence, hunger and oppression, injustice and greed. Even if we avoid all news cast, refuse to read headlines and turn off the radio, the bubble we build around us will never be solid enough to keep it all out. Thin walls leak enough sad realities to frighten and grieve.

How wonderful that in the middle of all this darkness, Someone calls us to a different reality-the reality of God's marvelous light. A light that starts as a glimmer then grows brighter and clearer as you move deeper in. No wonder we stretch out, reach and seek the Source calling us forward.

After a recent trip to see The Chronicles of Narnia, I was inspired to reread this children's classic including The Last Battle. In this final book, the children are again suddenly pulled from England into Narnia, only this time their exit feels different than previous experiences. They wonder a great deal about this at first, but soon the plot thickens and from that point the book reads much like the other adventures.

It isn't until the very end of this last book that something changes. The adventure is over. The bad guys have lost. Aslan has won. Then, the lion (representing Christ) does something very strange. He allows Narnia to grow cold, dark and uninhabited and closes the door sealing it off forever.

Slowly, the children realize the reason why their exit from England felt different-they all died in a train wreck. The time of childhood imagination is over. Amazed, they look around at the new, bright land of heaven-their eternal home. Romping and rejoicing the great lion moves ahead of them calling the same words they have heard so often before: "Farther up! Farther in! Come higher with Me!"'

We don't live in a pretend world, but it is a temporary one. When we hear His call and reach for the light, darkness and confusion begin to fade as the solid reality of His marvelous light glows even while we remain on this side of glory.

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