He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him. Daniel 2:22 (NIV)
The dark is the place we must go to if we’re to grow into what God has destined us to be. The dark (or night) is the place and time we have a primal fear of; and how we created artificial means of light to combat it from fires to electric lighting. It is the dark where the mysteries are, where the “monsters” are, where the loneliness is….
Still on our Lenten journey, God calls us into the dark. To go to that place we don’t want to go to. Our fear of the dark extends into our spiritual lives as well. We want God to meet us in the sunny and well-lit places. To meet us in church where everybody goes; and where we can get our weekly “Jesus fix” to feel good for a while. We want to be met in the “fun” places where we can be distracted. We don’t want God to call us into the dark and mysterious places, the “bad” places-places where only we can go to. Places where we have to “be still” and know that God is God; and where She can have our full attention. No Jesus fixes to make us feel good; just full contact God to make us mature spiritually.
In the dark, we encounter the “monsters”: those parts of us that keep us from what God knows we can be. We don’t want to face those scary monsters, but hide from them so they’ll (hopefully) go away. It’s the monsters that reveal our “dark” side, the side we keep hidden from others, and try to keep hidden from ourselves; but we can’t hide them from God.
It’s also in the dark the mysterious must be engaged-the God that is mystery-in order for us to evolve. We also don’t want to be alone and engage God. We’d rather have our ministers or someone else engage God for us and have them pass His/Her message to us. However, God calls us to engage Him/Her in the dark; and it’s only we who can go.
But if we stay in the dark long enough and begin to face that which we don’t want, and go to where we don’t want to, we’ll begin to see our real selves. Yes, we’ll see the “bad”, however we’ll also see the good. And it’s at those places where we begin to grow up and are directed to the next destination on that road trip called the Christian journey-“from glory to glory” as Paul wrote (ref. 2 Corinthians 3:18). Then, we will be able to Divinely transform those dark places into places of light and life in our live-reflecting God as Jesus did in his life. We will then be our true selves.
Then we’ll truly be the children of God. And not just for Lent, but for all time.