A short while back it was all darkness around me and I was scared and unhappy. Then I decided that I needed to start a fire for light. So I went deep inside and swept into a pile all of the trash I could find. Believe me there was plenty like pride and impatience, gluttony and anger. To light the fire I swallowed the burning coal when suddenly enough light appeared that I could see two threads in front of my eyes. I pulled the one thread, which turned out to be a thank-you thread and sure enough it got brighter and I was happy.
Light is the most important thing in the world. For us aspiring immortals who will make it to the new earth there won’t be any darkness at all. Remember the revelation: “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.” My friend John told me over and over that the life of Jesus Christ was light. I suppose he got that from the Lamb’s own mouth because He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." That sounds easy enough but it’s not. Every day darkness displaces the light and every day we need to grope around to find Jesus so we can see again. But Jesus is invisible! What a dilemma! Or is He? Are those threads lifelines to light?
If it wasn’t for the thank-you thread I don’t know what I would do. No matter how dark it is I can reach around and feel the thread dangling. Then I know that with a serious yank or two some brightness will come. But even better is the second thread. Man, when I pulled that second thread a flood light appeared! Nope, better than that, it was like a bright sunny day on a snowy mountaintop. You know; how the light is all around because it comes down from the sun and up from the reflective snow. My friend Isaiah said it was like seven sunny days all in one. Luminopoly!
With a yank of the second thread I heard what sounded like a thousand voices telling God how magnificent He is. That’s when I discovered that the second was the praise thread. The shepherd/king David was very good at praising God and I am very glad that he wrote his praises down so we can say them all together but what I found out the other day is how much fun it can be to keep pulling the praise thread with my very own heartfelt thoughts. The room grows so bright. How does that work? Maybe it is because when I tell God how amazing I think He is, I am saying the most truthful reality based statement I can make. Just like thanks unite, praising God fills me with particles of angel dust. When a metal sword is placed in a hot fire, the fire and the sword are united, they meld. When I praise God, the reality of who He is melds with my own self who is recognizing God. I become a flaming red sword! Poof light!
My own little revelation is that I can sit in the dark and fret or I can spend that same amount of time and energy looking for the threads and yanking them a lot. Reality is in the light filled room, not the dark room anyway, so the less time I spend staring at the illusions of death, the more time I have to be joyful in the light. Light filled reality has a funny way of elbowing out illusory darkness. I remember a while back when it was dark every day and night for years, I finally learned that circumstances should have nothing at all to do with real life because circumstances live in time. Real life, the immortal life doesn’t have time at all. Time is where darkness and light take turns, but where we want to go, there is no time because there is no darkness. That must mean that the more we keep the lights on with the two threads and the hundreds of ways we can stick to Jesus Christ like glue, the less the darkness of time and all of its illusions of scary circumstances can grab hold of us aspiring immortals.
One problem: what I discovered is that nothing can make me feel smaller than trying to tell God how great He is. God is so creative and intelligent; He is so tolerant and patient. He is so wise and loving. I mean so much more of all of these things than I can even imagine that I figured it would take about a million of me(s) saying it all together to reach an inch of the reality. So, I have an idea! How about if we all get together next Sunday morning in church and focus on praise together. Really focus, don’t just pretend. I’ll bet that holy building will light up like a firecracker. Deal?