When The Lights Go Out at Christmas

His breath filled all things
    with a living, breathing light—
  A light that thrives in the depths of darkness,
    blazes through murky bottoms.
It cannot and will not be quenched” (John 1:4-5).

I had an interesting experience at work today. The lights went out.

I was in the middle of my last mail delivery run when all the lights went out for a split second, long enough to catch everybody by surprise and get them freaked out before the backup generators kicked in and some of the lights came back on. It was weird.

Suddenly, everything seemed more sinister. There’s something about not being able to see everything that unnerves me a little. Maybe that’s from all those scary movies I’ve watched. Maybe that’s from when I was little and was deathly afraid of the dark.

Sometimes life feels like that. It’s like someone switched off the proverbial lights and it’s hard to see where you are or where you’re going. You can’t prepare for what’s coming because you can’t see what’s coming. Sometimes you can’t even see the next step.

Advent is all about a light coming into the darkness. Some translations of John 1 say that the light came into the darkness and the darkness could not overcome it. Some say that the darkness could not comprehend it. I’m pulling a Forrest Gump and saying maybe both are right.

You can’t overcome what you do not understand. You will always be overpowered until you gain wisdom and learn a better way.

I love that it only takes one candle to defeat darkness. Or one little night light. I also love what a pastor said. The present state of things in our world isn’t due to the victory of darkness but from a failure of the light to shine. We’ve been silent when we should have spoken and sometimes we’ve spoken when we should have been silent (and maybe more discerning about what and when to speak).

 

Things I Love 24: From a Guy Who’s Running on Caffeine and Hope

island hammock

I had a fantastic conversation with a friend tonight at Starbucks. Even though we’ve never met in person before, we talked like we’d been friends for years. The meds are working. I am still blessed. Which brings us to #656.

656) Laptops that actually fit in your lap (does anyone remember the old portable computers that weighed 50 pounds and had a 2-inch screen?)

657) Conversations that last for hours over coffee drinks.

658) Love that will not let me go.

659) Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

660) Turkey sausage from Cracker Barrel.

661) When someone gets one of my obscure movie references.

662) IMDB for when my usually spot-on memory for names of actors fails me.

663) The little emoticons on Facebook messaging.

664) Free books on Kindle or iBooks.

665) Leaving ridiculous tips, i.e. 50% or higher, whenever I eat out.

666) Not being freaked out by the number 666.

667) Being 2/3 of the way through my list of 1,000 things I love.

668) Bare feet on carpet.

669) People complimenting me on my I Am Second bracelet.

670) Finding that Friends Trivia Game at Music City Thrift for $1.

671) Those people in the Bible who God used who were possibly even crazier and more messed up than me.

672) Gregorian chant music.

673) My organic liquid hand soap that smells like Canadian pine with white sage.

674) Being manly enough to admit that I have organic liquid hand soap that smells like trees.

675) Knowing just enough Spanish to be dangerous (and to order at Taco Bell).

676) Being able to read most of John 1 in my Greek New Testament,

677) Movie soundtracks.

678) Getting packages in the mail.

679) Color correcting old pictures on Adobe Photoshop.

680) Birthday presents.

681) Watching other people open gifts.

682) Christmas presents.

683) Presents in general.

684) Being present in the moment.

685) Leigh Nash’s voice.

686) That guitar sound in the song Luka by Suzanne Vega.

687) That guys aren’t better than girls and girls aren’t better than guys. We’re just different.

688) Being uniquely and wonderfully made.

689) Owning all four seasons of Felicity.

690) A good night’s sleep after a really good day.