I’m going to man up and admit that, seventeen years ago, I fairly well botched my proposal to my wife (well, at least according to my planes). I was working at Inspiration Hills, a Christian camp in northwest Iowa, and I had been planning “the perfect proposal” for a few months. When Andrea came for the weekend I took her on a hike, leading her to a large hill near camp. From this hill you could see Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota, and at the pinnacle was a large cross. When we got to the cross I knelt on one knee, said something romantic (again, at least in my mind!), and reached for the ring… which I could not find in the dark! No problem I thought, I’ll just grab my flashlight and find it…except I couldn’t find my flashlight either! So here I am, at what should be the most romantic moment of my life, flailing around on my hands and knees trying to find the flashlight (in order to find the ring), while apologizing profusely for ruining the proposal. Andrea kindly joined me in the search and soon {although it felt like an eternity} we were able to find the flashlight. Within seconds of turning on the flashlight, we were able to spot the ring and I could finish the proposal. Thankfully {and gracefully} she still said yes, and seventeen years later we are about to celebrate 15 years of marriage.

It’s hard to find anything in the dark, let alone something tiny like a ring. Likewise, it’s extremely difficult to correctly find our way in our world without someone to guide us. Its certainly not because the world doesn’t try to direct us. It seems like, more then ever, the world is trying to lead us down all sorts of negative paths. Yet, there is really only one who can correctly show us how to navigate life, and that is Jesus Christ. John 1:4-5 explains it like this:

In him {Jesus} was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Just as I would have likely never found that ring without a flashlight, we are unlikely to correctly navigate life without following the light of Christ. See, Jesus not only came to earth to save us, but to lay out a blueprint for how to live life. His earthly life, wonderfully preserved in scripture, serves as a flashlight illuminating the correct path for us. It is a path that is not always easy, but is the right path. It is a path that includes showing grace and forgiveness, caring for the poor, living sacrificially, loving our neighbor as we love ourselves, following scripture, and standing for God against the sinful ways of the world. May we always be turning to scripture and letting the light of Christ serve as our guide in this dark world.