Avoiding Spiritual Roadkill

I commute to work in the dark hours of the morning. Navigating the twisting country roads on my way to the highway, my headlights are the only illumination. But I always have to watch out for critters that get frightened by my lights. I see lots of roadkill. (Unlike some, I don’t pray over them.)

(Photo: www.flickr.com/photos/proimos, via Creative Commons)

More than once I have slowed to a stop for deer to scramble over adjacent fences, or a family of raccoons to cross single file, or numerous rabbits, skunks, squirrels, cats, and dogs. (I never slow down for snakes.) One morning, a buck with a multi-pointed rack just stood still and stared me down as I inched by. No movement. No fear. Amazing.

And then there are possums. Oh, dear. Possums usually just stop and watch me pass too, often requiring me to navigate around them in the middle of the road! They stare not because they are brave like the buck—but they are, I believe, brainless. They represent clear proof that God has a sense of humor.

When I see these creatures flee from my headlights, I think of something Jesus said in relation to spiritual roadkill:

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God. . . . I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 3:19-21; 8:12)

Spiritual roadkill occurs when we see the light but try to dodge it. We know God is holy. We understand His standard. What’s more, we know that one day we will stand before God and His light will illuminate everything about us. Including the fact that, by ourselves, we utterly fail His standard. Thank God that Jesus stands in the gap between darkness and light. He offers His holiness to those who will believe in Him.

How ironic that Saul of Tarsus was converted by a blinding light. Later, Jesus told him:

I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me. (Acts 26:17-18)

As I make my way back home at the end of each day, retracing the country roads I followed in the mornings, the roads always seem to show some casualty who didn’t dodge the light fast enough. Often it’s a possum. When I see these creatures, squashed, I  liken them to spiritual roadkill.

They remind me to keep a proper respect for the Light—for God’s holiness. And they urge me to share that light with a world lost in darkness.

Is there anyone in your circles in danger of becoming spiritual roadkill? What would it take for them to see the light? Please leave a comment.

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