“Understanding death and life is not really so difficult. It is like darkness and light. Darkness is not the opposite of light; it is the absence of light. The way to be in the light is not by trying hard not to be in the dark. It is by coming into or turning on a light. Death is not the opposite of life; it is the absence of life. The way to have life is not by trying hard not to be dead. It is by coming to what can give life.” (Good News for the Chemically Dependent and Those Who Love Them by Jeff VanVonderen).
This quote got me thinking about how I often try to be less spiritually dark by trying harder to be good. When I don’t measure up, I feel like a total screwball and think that there is no way God could love me the way I am. So, I try harder to clean up my life and do my best to hide how messed up I am from my friends and family. I think that they would never accept me if they really knew me.
The truth is that the way to light is by turning on the light, not by trying harder to be less dark. So when I screw up… in fear and trembling… I tell my godly brothers about my screwed-up-ness. Inevitably, they say, “Hey me too!” We are all in this together. The truth is, that is why we need God.
It is only by taking off our masks and admitting that we are screwballs that we can come to the realization that we are in need of a savior. Yes, I am a screwball who is “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Eph 3:14-21). I already have the light… in me. As I peel back the layers of Jim-ness that get in the way of God’s light, He shines through brightly. And in an ironic way, as I get out of the way, he uses me in my own Jimazing way to shine His light.