Into the Darkness

A Voice calls us out,

beyond the well-lit path

into the darkness.

We follow, trembling,

or trembling stay behind.

But whether we heed the call and launch into the dim unknown

or cling to the familiar,

we are changed.

~Penelope Stokes

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It’s been a few years since I first read these words, and I’ve reread them several times since. But they’ve never impacted me quite as deeply as they do now. This time they are more than an inspiring little poem. This time they are the Voice that calls me out. And, yes, I’m trembling.

There’s something soothing in the well-lit path, even though I may not like where the path is leading. At least I can see what’s coming. At least I feel some semblance of control. I can’t say that about the uncertainty of the darkness.

But here the Voice calls me, telling me that I don’t belong on the well-lit path anymore. Telling me it’s time to blaze a new trail. And here I stand, trembling – unsure as to whether I should really launch into the dim unknown or cling to the familiar. But I am certain of one thing: no matter what my choice may be, change is coming.

So I stand here and wonder what awaits me in the darkness. I say that I’m waiting for clear direction. I claim that I’m being wise. But am I? Or am I just so lacking in faith that I won’t take that first step even when I know that I know that God’s calling me? And I wonder if this is really the time to “be wise” or the time to step out of the boat and start walking on water.

Here I am, trembling, praying, and waiting for the courage to take the first step.

When God Becomes Too Familiar

Every time I turn a corner, I’m running into the same message. It’s starting to freak me out. “Okay, God, I get it. I get it!” But apparently He doesn’t agree because it just keeps popping up. In one way or another it hits me. Different messages, different scriptures, but the same theme: There is danger in letting God become too familiar.

Too familiar? Is that even possible? I mean, He’s God. You could study Him for a million years and still not figure Him out. But haven’t you ever reached a point where those simple Biblical truths start to feel more like trite Sunday school answers? Haven’t you ever read your Bible and thought to yourself, “I know, I know.” Haven’t you ever reached a point where you cease to marvel at the greatness of God because it’s so easy to take for granted? Perhaps I’m selfish to say this, but I certainly hope you have. Otherwise, I’m the worst disciple on the planet because I’m there right now. After almost twenty years of walking with Jesus, I’ve let Him fall into a dangerously comfortable place in my life.

Think of how fascinating it is to meet new people.  Not that awkward “I don’t know you” stage, but the part where you’re actually starting to like them and may even consider them friends. Every conversation you have is new and exciting because you’re hearing things you haven’t heard before. There’s some sort of wonder in experiencing life together for the first time.

That’s where I want to be with Jesus right now. I want to recapture some of the wonder in getting to know Him more. I’m sick of letting Him be commonplace in my life. So I’ll take a deep breath and start at the beginning. “It’s nice to meet you, God. My name’s Rebekah…”