I squint through the darkness at the slight movement in the corner of my room. My first thought is just to disregard it. Yet, minutes later, I see a similar movement just in front of where I am sleeping. Frantically, I rush to turn on the lights.
There, I see it! A brown cockroach scurries across the middle of my floor, then flies over to the window curtains. This one is a hybrid, not like the ones I am used to seeing back home. This Nepali-style cockroach jumps and flies, and it moves fast.
This hybrid cockroach had not been the first or only visitor to my room. It was just the latest uninvited guest in addition to the five flies that had been hovering around my bed area plus the mosquitoes and nameless other critters that had been roaming about. However, the only one that was of interest to me at the moment was the cockroach. I stand still near my bedroom door and plot ingenious ways of getting it out of my room.
I decide to start with turning off the light and following it with my flashlight. That was when I realize that there was not just one, but two. As long as I knew they were in my room, I didn’t think I would be getting much sleep. As I move closer to the door, I notice that the first cockroach is nowhere to be seen. I had lost it. I single in on the second cockroach, but eventually, I get tired and end up losing sight of that one too. Somehow they had both morphed themselves into the darkness. Meanwhile, the fly entourage had now flocked over to me. They bounce on and off of the light streaming from the flashlight as if it is a trampoline.
Still, the cockroaches are nowhere to be seen. Disappointed, I turn off the flashlight and try to sleep away from where I had last seen one of the cockroaches scurry away when it knew I was after it — Near my bed. I try to make myself as cozy as possible on the flat side of the set of desk drawers closest to the door and pray that the night will pass quickly.
“But in turning away from the light of Christ’s presence, we are actually turning away from the opportunity to have life in all of its fullest.”
That night’s experience taught me a few insights about life, other than the obvious one of the need to get over my fear. I learned that a lot of us are a bit more like the cockroaches that were in my room in Nepal that night. Sad to say but true.
You see, we like the darkness a bit too much and are most comfortable with it. In John 3, Jesus speaks these words: “And this is the condemnation that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.” (verse 19)
We know that light represents Christ, and Christ means life. But in turning away from the light of Christ’s presence, we are actually turning away from the opportunity to have life in all of its fullest. In John 5, Jesus tells the Pharisees: “And you will not come to me that you might have life.” (verse 40).
Like the cockroaches, we bury ourselves in the darkness and remain steadfast in our sins. We have chosen darkness over light. If we choose to continue on this downward path, we will find that we are no longer able to discern the light, because we would have become so accustomed to the darkness that there would seem to be nothing else.
But there is something so much greater. I never thought I would say this, but we have to be more like the flies. We have to reject the darkness in our lives and draw nearer to the source of light. Once we have found it, we can’t simply just return to the darkness. We have to completely embrace His light, and surround ourselves with it, forever and ever. This light never goes out.
“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not…That was the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” (John 1:4-5, 9)
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