Walking in Circles
“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 (NIV UK)
Want to try something interesting? Take a friend to an open space, blindfold him and instruct him to walk as far as he can in a straight line. You’ll be surprised at what happens. For some reason, when people can’t see their goal, they cannot walk in a straight line. And it’s not just when blindfolded. When it’s cloudy and visibility is low the same phenomenon occurs; people slip into walking in circles, and sometimes they end up right back where they started.
No one seems to know why this happens. I find it interesting that many at times use the phrase, “I feel like I’m walking in circles” to describe their personal or spiritual situation. This feeling of walking in circles and getting nowhere happens when we lose sight of our goals.
The Bible calls this “walking in darkness.” When we walk in darkness, we are like the blindfolded friend who simply cannot walk in a straight line. It’s because we’ve lost sight of Jesus. He is the light who enables us to walk straight. Notice what Jesus said about himself: “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).
This “light of life” is also referred to in John where we read about the Word, Jesus, becoming flesh: “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4-5).
This is good news for all who feel they’ve been walking in circles. When we walk with Christ, we no longer walk in darkness because the light has overcome it. Jesus illuminates the path enabling us to walk in the light. He is also the goal we stay focused on enabling us to walk to the light. And he is the friend who accompanies us enabling us to walk with the light. If we start to meander or walk in a circle—which we all do from time to time—he is there to lovingly guide us back to the right path.
He does this because he loves us and doesn’t want us to be frustrated walking in circles and going nowhere. He wants us to have the light of life.
It may be fun to take your friend to an open space, blindfold them and have them try to walk in a straight line. But that’s nothing compared with the joy of seeing your friend walk from darkness into the light of Christ.
Holy Father, looking at this world we can clearly see that it has lost its way, stumbles in darkness, has no means of extricating itself. We ask for the light, your light, to shine forth clearly, ever more clearly, as we live the life you have called us to and seek to reflect that same way of life to others. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by Joseph Tkach
SEP in Scotland has just finished for the year. S.E.P., a two-week summer activity camp that takes place on the bank of Loch Lomond, Scotland, is sponsored and run by the Worldwide Church of God UK, a part of Grace Communion International. The camp is Christian in ethos but accepts campers from all denominations and faiths, or from none. For more information about S.E.P. visit http://www.sepuk.org
About the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA. You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.