The Shadow Proves the Sunshine

November 8, 2005

Bicycling, Faith, Family, Music

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and light unto my path. Psalms 119:105
We are crooked souls trying to stay up straight,
Dry eyes in the pouring rain well
The shadow proves the sunshine
The shadow proves the sunshine
Switchfoot, The Shadow Proves the Sunshine

God is so awesome! For the past couple of days, I’ve been on an emotional roller-coaster: big highs and big lows with lots of speed in between. But in the midst of all the noise and activity, God really spoke to me with that still, small voice of His. Here’s the preamble and the message:

Last week, my bicycle lighting system died. I use a NightRider TrailRat 2.0. It’s a rechargeable battery connected to a halogen bulb. It sure is bright – when it works. But it stopped working a few weeks ago. After trying to figure it out on my own, I realized I just needed to bite the bullet and buy a new system. So I bought a replacement system and installed it.

I’ve been riding with the new light for a week and it’s worked out fine. But I wanted to see how long the charge would last. I had successfully ridden for two days w/o recharging. And since I was out of town this past weekend, I didn’t recharge it on Sunday night. That was a big mistake!

I rode in yesterday morning with no problems. So I didn’t even give my light a second thought. I started riding home last night and the very first thing that happened was that I accidentally disconnected the light from the battery. It was a stupid mistake. I leaned my knee against the top tube while waiting at a stoplight. When the light turned green, i dropped my knee and dragged it across the connector, thus dislodging the connector. Once I crossed the intersection, the connectors and wires pulled free of one another – and the light went out. Arghhhh! But it was a very easy fix. I just pushed the connectors together and I was on my way.

But about halfway through the ride, my light started to fail. I made it across the big intersection just as my light faded to darkness. So I rode on the sidewalk instead of the street. No big deal, right?

Well, it was a lot harder than I thought. It became dark – very dark. And the sidewalk was very uneven. People were walking on the sidewalk – and I nearly hit them. I barely missed a couple of potholes in the sidewalk. And it was very difficult to navigate around the sections of the sidewalk that were under construction and roped off with orange mesh wiring (or whatever that four-foot plastic fencing is called).

And then God spoke to me. His message was simple: do you need My light? And then He asked me if I had prepared myself to use His light. And then He stepped me throught the last couple of weeks.

– I had a battery, but it failed and needed to be replaced.
– I replaced that battery, but it failed when the battery got disconnected from the light.
– I risked my safety on a limited battery charge. I could have charged it the night before. It isn’t hard to do. But I wanted to see just how long a charge would last (btw, it’s a little over two hours).
– I could see the sidewalk only when a car passed by on the street. But the light of other cars was not sufficient for me to be fully safe and confident.
– I had to move very slowly and carefully when I did not have a fully charged light. I hit a couple of potholes – even though I later remembered that I had seen them there on previous rides.

The underlying application of this message is simple: if you want to ride safely, take the time to charge your battery. Don’t risk it. Even if you know the path, you won’t be completely safe. Even if you have the light of others around you, it is hard to see what is directly in front of you without your own light.

If you want to live safely, always recharge your light by reading God’s Word on a regular basis. Even if you know the path, you can still fall into temptation w/o a bright light to guide you. And you can’t rely exclusively on other people’s lights (their understanding of God’s Word) to guide you. You must recharge your own light.

And you don’t miss the light when you’re in the sunshine. But you really miss it when you’re in the dark. Dear God, may I always remember to be prepared for the dusk. May I always have a fully charged battery. May I always greet your light with joy and thanksgiving.

Yeah Yeah, shine on me
Yeah Yeah, shine on me
Yeah Yeah, shine on me
Yeah Yeah, shine on me



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