I looked forward to the end of daylight saving time last weekend. I rarely get enough sleep, and the opportunity to sleep an extra hour was delightful – in theory. In practice, I was confused, as was the dog, when we awoke in reaction to the sun, not the alarm clock. I felt out of sync most of the day. All week, Sunny was confused about when to sleep and when to eat, and I wasn’t much clearer. Was that extra hour really worth the creeping darkness that followed?

That question took on added weight this week as more terrible stories about violence, predation, and abuse dominated the news. It is tempting to simply be horrified by what these men have done and say, like the character in Jesus’ parable, “God, I thank You that I am not like other people.” But we need to remember that the character is a hypocritical Pharisee, shamed by Jesus later in the parable.

We all sin. We all choose self over God. We all hurt others with our actions and our inactions. But at every crossroad, we have the chance to turn the right way. In every encounter, we have the opportunity to push ourselves to be better people. In every moment, we can choose light.

So the question becomes, how hard do we work to hold back the darkness? How often do we seize that one hour of pleasure or power with no regard for the pain and suffering that will follow? Do we stoop to the devil’s level and treat each other poorly because it’s expedient? Or do we reach up toward Jesus and treat each other as the brothers and sisters of the Kingdom we truly are?

And when we do stumble, do we admit our fault or do we blame others? When others fall, do we mock them or do we help them?

Our days on this earth are short and night here is inevitable. But by God’s grace, we have been given the gift of hope. Jesus died on the cross to save us from the darkness forever. Let us cling to His light and let in shine on and through all we do.

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
John 8:12