In college one of my roommates painted a mental picture for me, so funny that even today I giggle each time I think of it.
She reported that in one of her religion classes, the professor taught that any time we knowingly sin, or break a rule, we will lose truth and light in our lives.
One of the rules on our campus was to use the sidewalks. We were to never cut across the lawns in our hurry to get to class.
Just imagine if everyone rationalized that their situation was the exception. That “Surely for me, in my situation, it is acceptable to cut across the lawns.” Eventually ugly, brown, dead tracks would be worn everywhere across the green grass.
After learning this, if Susan chose to cut across the lawn, she would high-step it as quickly and lightly as she could, repeating the whole way “Truth and light, truth and light!”
When she made it safely onto another sidewalk, she’d breathe a sigh of relief that she had stopped the leak of her spiritual sensitivity and knowledge.
Standing at our mailboxes, I visited with a friend. She talked about the small decisions we see our children make to “overlook” a warning. She remarked that in the very moment we decide to “overlook” something we know to be right or wrong, we’ve placed ourselves on a dangerous path.
For example, when I rationalize spending an hour in search of something, ANYTHING appropriate and mind-expanding on Netflix, Prime Video or television, there is a little voice going off in my head saying
“You know you’re about to waste another two hours of truth and light…right?”
I shoot back “I worked so hard today. I deserve to veg tonight.”
Sometimes the angel on my shoulder wins and I pick up a book that sets my mind considering ideas or committing to progress that I simply wouldn't have otherwise.
At other times the natural woman in me gets her way. When the laptop snaps shut two hours later, I am never--and I mean it when I say NEVER--a better person for having ingested yet another sitcom or adventure movie.
To make a choice against greater light and knowledge, is to knowingly choose darkness.
John 12:35 says “Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.”
Henry B. Eyring warned “[A} fallacy is to believe that the choice to accept or not accept the counsel of prophets is no more than deciding whether to accept good advice and gain it’s benefits or to stay where we are. But the choice not to take prophetic counsel changes the very ground up on which we stand. It becomes more dangerous. The failure to take prophetic counsel lessens our power to take inspired counsel in the future.”
What if you and I were to repeat to ourselves “Truth and light. Truth and light…” any time we
· Picked up a questionable book
· Wanted to gossip
· Chose to skip church
· Denied a prompting to act
· Withheld praise
· Rehearsed our-side-of-the-story
· Rationalized, rather than repented
By making what appears to be a small choice to stay on the straight and narrow sidewalk, we can avoid scaring the beautiful landscape of our lives.
Seriously now. Who would deliberately design a criss cross of ugly, brown, dead-end paths?