Romans 13:12 (New International Version)
12The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
It was late as I drove home after dropping off two friends at their homes and it was already dark. Up in the sky shone the brave moon, bright over the hushed fields and the still busy road. A dark little cloud drifted aimlessly as if it had lost its way on the sea of the night, but suddenly its edges were silvered by the hiding moon.
I understood then, that the adage, "Every cloud has a silver lining," does not mean the same thing as another old proverb, "It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good." Both, I used to think, meant something similar; that to every bad thing there is a grain of good if only you look out for it; but suddenly I saw something else. The true meaning is that even though dark clouds may temporarily obscure the light; it is still there, and every cloud is lined with silver on the other side, because of it.
Driving to work the next morning, I pondered my aim of a couple of days ago, to travel "light." Some people may think it an easy concept. In fact it is not. What draws me is the idea of a toughness and grit that does not give in to despair; looking difficulty in the eye and staring it down; with a smile that lights up the heart, and lends courage to others.
I noticed as I went through that day, a general contagion of joy. As I tried to unravel two mysteries at work, I had fun with the people with whom I connected over the phone. I felt their spirits lift as they responded almost subconsciously. Even my grandchildren in the evening laughed and joked more than usual as we read stories together.
I thought about the heroes of our faith in Hebrews chapter 11, that crowd of conquerors who either saw the fruit of their faith on earth or in heaven and I thought that although I am far from worthy of hero designation, my aspiration would be to have that "something" that the weird bunch called the "others" in that chapter had; the ones who went around in animal skins, were flogged and tortured, wandered in deserts and lived in holes in the ground. They were all commended for their faith in spite of not receiving what had been promised; at least not on earth.
I want to banish self importance and easy offence; to see the true situation but not give in to it. Yes, I guess I want to be a hero like "the others"...
Nehemiah 8:10 (New International Version)
10 Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."