The lights are still flickering in my brain right now, I can almost close my eyes and still see them shining. No, I wasn’t at Warped Tour today, I don’t think I could handle that music for more than a three and a half minute song. The city lights of the DFW metroplex are what ring so clear in my mind right now. These artificial lights are a mesmerizing sight when you drive from one side of the ‘city’ to the other side, watching street light after street light wiz by in a blur, while car dealerships are still lit up, just in case they can entice a desperate buyer at 11:00 PM on a Friday night. But, see, that’s just what they are. Artificial. These lights were never meant to light the entire city like the Sun is. They don’t have the power to do it.
The funny thing about these lights is, for many my age (25), they are a more welcoming sight than the Sun itself. Many ‘kids’ my age see the Sun go down, the neon lights turn on, and they get giddy with excitement as they start to paint themselves up in vanity to embark on a forgetful, Friday night on the town. They say that this is the prime of our lives, we need to make the most of it. Making the most of it meaning to spend 2 or 3 nights a week so completely dependent on everyone else’s acceptance of who we should be, that by the time it’s over they will never know what hit them (And yes by ‘acceptance’ I mean consumption of whatever makes that boy or girl look a little bit more cute). But it won’t end there. You see, by the time they are 40 they will be married with 1, 2 maybe 3 kids, and will be more than happy to drop them off with some teenage girl so they can try and recapture that feeling they had when they were younger. And if that doesn’t work, pack your gear ‘cuz we’re heading to the lake. And don’t forget that 12 pack, it may be more important than the kids themselves.
These lights are a reminder. They are a reminder of where I have been, and where I will end up. Some will look at me and think that I’ve wasted my 20’s by getting married and having a kid before 25. Some will say that I’m missing out on the most of what life has to offer. As if, I don’t know what they say I’m missing out on. But I don’t miss it. I don’t miss waking up needing a bottle of water, 2 aspirins, and a cup of coffee. I don’t miss never being satisfied with the night before, striving after wind the very next night. I wake up every morning with new found desires. Desires that don’t revolve around the emptiness of another high. I love wanting to know what the next chapter of Jeremiah is going to teach me in the morning, and the quiet hang out time I have with HIM. There is so much more joy in these things. These lights remind me that I once thought God was out to rob me of my joy. That He hated all the “good” things in life and to have fun, be happy, and have joy, meant, I would need to run from HIM. The truth is, God is the joy of the world, and if only we all would taste and see, we would discover the bottomless well of His Joy, found in Jesus Christ.
The beautiful thing is that one day we won’t need any of these lights. One day, the Bible says, Christ’s glory will shine so bright that we won’t need a Sun or a Moon. Gah, the thought of this and all it means. Try and look at a light in your house for a few seconds. Hurts doesn’t it? Now try and look at the Sun for a few seconds. Even worse. So we are going to need new eyes to even be able to see in the presence of Christ. Which means we need a new body. A glorified body. A promise that involves the complete satisfaction that everyone is searching for right now. No more pain, no more tears, no more need for the body to fight off infection. Peace because there is no more war, love because there is no more racial tension, joy when there is no more death because sin will be dead. And yet, so many in my generation hate Jesus, but desire all of these promises.
but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15 Let us magnify Christ and invite people into the worship and honor He deserves. For He is good.