At the end of high school, I had come to believe the God the Bible was real and the Bible revealed who He was. This was a long journey, because I had started as a staunch atheist, rejecting that there is a God or anything beyond this life. However, mainly through the witness of my physics professor (a Ph.D. in physics, with years of experience in the field and academia) and the books he gave me, like those of C.S. Lewis, I found that I no longer believed there was no God and no afterlife.
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. – John 3:18-19, ESV
However, though I believed the fact that God was real, that Jesus was His Son, and that Jesus offered forgiveness for sins and eternal redemption, I did not believe in Jesus. I didn’t want to turn over my life. I didn’t want to give up those things I felt I had a right to, even if I didn’t actually care about them in practice. In these words here, I loved the darkness, not Jesus. I didn’t call it darkness, but because it was apart from God, that’s exactly what it was, even though on the surface many of what I cared about was generally seen by us as good.
Over the next few years, I came to understand that holding on to what I thought I had a right to was a false hope. After a particularly devestating injury suffered in military training, I came to see all my strengths reduced to weakness. I lost control over everything rapidly and surely: my health, my intellect, my athleticism, my skills, even the ability to minimally function in life. I realized that what I thought I could grasp until my dying days I couldn’t even hold tight as a nineteen/twenty year-old who had previously been in excellent physical condition, excelling academically, and being able to do and accomplish whatever it was that I seriously purposes to do.
I realized how foolish I had been. I gave up the darkness. I finally responded to Jesus’ love for me. I gave up on my “rights,” on my silly notion that I could control my life, and I believed in Jesus. I came to understand what these verses meant. I realized that I had loved the darkness: anything apart from God.
I loved going out and teaching children about peer pressure or advertising or substance abuse and their effects. But I did it apart from God. I loved making music and performing as part of The Citadel’s Regimental Band and Pipes. However, I did this apart from God. While these were good things to be a part of, I did them without any connection to God. I didn’t want the connection to God. And thus, they were darkness and I was in love with darkness.
Why do you do what you do? Is what you do connected to God? If it’s not, why not? Is there something you want to keep separate from God? Why? Do you realize it’s darkness, then? Even if it’s good, if you don’t want God to be a part of it, it’s darkness. It’s only light if the Light, Jesus, is a part of it. We are to love the Light. We must let Him be involved in every aspect of our lives. Or we love the darkness. Let it not be so in us! Let us let Him in for all things and be in love with the Light!