Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Detachment in the Dark

I once had the dubious honor of staying in a $10 dollar a night hotel near an air port in western Kentucky.  My company had sent me all the way across the state to work on a heat pump on a Lowe's to find out why it wasn't working.  I drove around trying to save them money by looking for the cheapest hotel money could buy.  I found this place right at the end of the runway strip.  I paid for my room in cash, got a receipt and drove my truck around to the unlit parking lot in the back.  The outside was faded with paint falling down in big chips.  The smell of body odor and urine permeated the air.  All of which was hard to take, but not the worst of the night.

I opened the door to my hotel room and the stench of unwashed sheets, mildew and human fluids struck my face.  I turned on the light and heard a scattering.  Roaches.   They were going everywhere, trying to find a place to hide.  I noticed on the wall in front of me a sign that said, "No refunds once you have entered the room."  Silly me.  I had already entered the room.  I decided to grin and bear it, and I made it through the night alive.  I didn't sleep much.  I could hear the roaches crawling up and down the wall by the bed all night.  Every time a plane flew over the roar of it would make things fall off the ceiling.  I didn't turn on a light to see what they were.  I was hoping it was more paint flakes.

Why do I tell you this story?  Earlier when I was meditating I was struck by the imagery presented in scripture of Jesus as the light of the world.  I began to ponder how that our hearts, much like our inner home, are often filled with dust, with dark things, with our own sins.  When we allow Jesus in the light scatters the darkness.  I wonder if it looks like those roaches running from the light?  Do they skitter in the dark and try to find a place to hide?  I think that often we don't open all the doors though.  We only want Jesus to come in so far.  So those really dark things, those things we don't want to give up, they run and hide.  They are still there.  We have an attachment to them.

I think that's why often when we pray, when God is really beginning to move in our hearts, things begin to surface.  Distracting thoughts, worries, fears... .they all skitter out in the light because they were hidden somewhere that God has just opened in our hearts.  Sometimes we fight them.. we get upset with ourselves or angry that they are there.. instead we need to focus on letting God in completely.  Let him drive out that darkness.  We cannot do it on our own. All we can do is open the door to Jesus and let him come in... he'll do the cleaning. That is really the thing we need to concentrate on.  Being present to Him.  Opening ourselves to Him.  Loving Him.  Until the light of Christ floods our inner recesses and there is no place left for our sins, our attachments, our egos to hide.  Only then can we face them, and with His help, defeat them. 

Are you ready to flood every recess of your heart?  Are all your doors open? Is there anything you are holding on to that you just haven't had the courage to let go of?  Now is the time. 

His servant and yours;
Brian