Recently, I have been working to incorporate spiritual disciplines on a deeper level. For several years, my daily Bible reading has been a blessing to me and, every day, I am eager to get into the word. Prayer has also been a part of my daily routine, though admittedly, I believe I undervalue the power of prayer.
One of our pastors talks about the benefit of the discipline of silence and solitude. In fact, this spring he went to the Joshua Tree National Forest to spend several days in solitude. I have never specifically availed myself of this discipline, though given the "noise" in my life, it is no doubt something I would benefit from.
With my family out of town, I thought tonight would be the ideal night to practice this discipline for a while. As I returned home, however, I got to thinking that there was a movie I rented that I had not yet watched, so I decided to forgo the time of silence.
I began cooking my dinner and put in the movie I rented. Dinner was nearly finished cooking and the previews nearly done when the lights went out. I made my way to the flashlight cabinet only to discover our flashlights were dead. I lit a couple of candles. It wasn't totally black, but the skies were grey enough that it was difficult to see in the house.
I sat down in my chair, thanking God for His enforcing this time of solitude. I prayed for a bit and asked him to speak if He would, to allow me to hear his voice. As I settled in to listen, I could hear my dog Corbin begin to wretch. This led to that sickly wet sound that happens when a dog vomits and I thought, "come on! Really?!?"
Just then, it seemed to me that God was telling me what my sin is like. Vile. Disgusting. Wretched. Further, he helped me make the connection that sin so often occurs in the dark. The apostle John particularly talks about the importance of walking in the light and not in darkness.
I tracked down some paper towels, made my way to where I heard him and started to clean it up and realized how much easier it is to clean up in the light.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.-John 3:20