Addicted to Light

A flashlight was one of my favorite childhood toys. I would make rocket sounds and slowly lift the flashlight off my bed, pretending the spreading ring of light was the flame of its engines. The fascination hasn’t entirely ended. I still like to peruse the flashlight isle in hardware stores. I have enough flashlights … but it wouldn’t be hard to sell me another one. Especially if you told me it was brighter than any of my current selection.
A regular old torch isn’t good enough. Now-a-days, you must have a “tactical flashlight.” Some in this new breed produce beams so intense they can ignite paper. One model boasted a brightness of 90,000 lumens. I considered purchasing one, but I don’t have anyone I need to signal on Mars? Our society is addicted to devices that dispel darkness.
 “I don’t like being left in the dark.” Now we understand that common phrase is not talking about literal darkness. The person who says such things means, “I don’t like not knowing what’s going on.” This is the darkness we fear most. We try to dispel the “darkness” of our own ignorance in all sorts of ways. We try desperately to manage our unmanageable future. Our myriad methods for anesthetizing ourselves against the uncertainty of future range from benign to blasphemous; portfolio planning, media binging, obsessive scheduling, astrology … pay-per-view prophets. We very much want to be in the know.
When it comes to the future, it’s okay to be in the dark. Read carefully Isaiah’s wisdom.
Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment. Isaiah 50:10-11
You were not created to know everything. You certainly don’t have to have your future neatly tied up in a bow. In fact, you can’t, because you’re not in charge. Better to walk in the dark holding God’s hand and trusting His Word than to try manufacture your own light.