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Compass Corner: Follow the Light

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Compass Corner

Follow the Light

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Dear Compass Checkers,

While on vacation years ago, my wife and I and our three children visited Craters of the Moon National Monument in central Idaho. We were eager to do some spelunking. I had only one small flashlight among the five of us, but off we went into the cave. We carefully picked our way walking on uneven volcanic rock and fine volcanic soil. With the light shining onto the floor of the cave from the cave opening, we had no problem seeing. Our children were enjoying the cool air inside the cave, even though outside it was close to a blazing 100 degrees. But within minutes the ambient light from the cave opening diminished when the cave took a turn. We soon found ourselves in total blackness.

Have you ever been somewhere (other than your bedroom at night—that does not count!) and found yourself in total darkness? It’s pretty eerie, right?

I turned on my small flashlight and told my family to bunch up directly behind me and to literally “follow the light.” A bit unnerved, our young children did not have to be told a second time! Talk about family closeness. Step by step we walked—I was in front with the flashlight, followed by our three children and my wife. I could see maybe 10 feet ahead, but to the side of us, much less behind us, there was nothing but inky blackness.

To have a little fun, I suddenly turned off the flashlight and we all stood in eerie silence as the darkness wrapped around us. Total blackness does funny things to your thinking. Even your sense of balance is affected, and the walls seem to close in on you. The air becomes heavy, you breathe harder, your pulse quickens and then someone cries out—turn the flashlight back on now! We were all relieved to see that tiny light pierce a small hole in the blackness again, and we all rejoiced in the beauty of light overcoming darkness.

At last we turned around and it was “follow the light” all the way back to the entrance of the cave. We rushed outside into the brilliant sunshine and drank in of its delightful warmth. Sunshine never looked or felt so good!

The five of us talked about what we had just learned. What if one of us had wandered off on their own? What if the battery failed or what if someone stumbled and got hurt? But the biggest lesson we learned as a family was the importance of “follow the light.” It may sound trite in our well-lit world, but if you have ever been in any circumstance like this, then you know the importance of following the light.

Our family drew from the biblical analogy about how vital it is to “follow the light” and what that means spiritually.

In Psalm 119:105, King David describes how the Bible and God’s instructions (“Your word”) act like a light to illuminate the right path through our lives: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Just as our small flashlight blazed our trail in the dark recesses of a volcanic cave, the Bible illuminates where we should walk or not walk in our daily lives. This is a fantastic analogy for us. How else can we know what path in our lives to walk unless God lights the path for us?

The point here is to ask God to “light” the way in your life. Be specific when asking God for answers in your prayers.

Also, when you make God the light in your life, it gives you confidence, faith, and it therefore diminishes your human fears as you turn your life over to Him. Notice this in Psalm 27:1: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

Have you ever thought of yourself as a light to your friends, family and others? We find this in Matthew 5:14-16: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Why should we all be an example to others? Because we can encourage and help others by our positive and caring example. We all need positive “lights” to follow.

Jesus Christ is called the light of the world in John 12:46 (New International Version): “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” We should follow the example of Jesus Christ in our own lives. We should love as Christ loved, forgive as Christ forgave, observe the Sabbath and Feast days as He did and live a life of service today to others. Jesus Christ is the Savior, the Light, to the world.

And notice in 1 Thessalonians 5:5 that God has blessed us by calling us out of spiritual darkness and into His wonderful light: “You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.” What does darkness mean? It means living as the world lives—ignoring how much God cares for us and “doing our own thing.” The world is in darkness at the present time, but when Jesus Christ returns, He will bring light to this earth and set up the Kingdom of God so all of humanity can live in the light. It is Satan who is the dark and evil god of this world, yet he appears to be an angel of life in order to trip up humanity into doing evil (2 Corinthians 11:14). We all need to be extra careful in making sure we follow the true Light, Jesus Christ.

When spelunking you need light. When living in this dark world of ours, we need the spiritual light from God to light up our way. Thankfully, we can turn to God and His Bible to give us that spiritual light in our daily trek toward the coming Kingdom of God. Follow the Light!