When darkness falls, daily life gets difficult. As the days continue to grow shorter leading up to the winter solstice, the Catalano family must adjust their farming schedule and either complete the tasks before the sun goes down or be prepared to stumble around with the limited visibility of a flashlight.
Even with the farm trimmed down and prepared for the slower season, the sheep begin to “Baaah” around dusk each evening, as they call for their dinner. My wife is the shepherd in the family and systematically goes about separating the ewes from the ram, to make sure each one gets the proper nutrition. If she has begun the process in time, she can finish before dark; if not, life becomes difficult.
Isn’t that the way life seems when we attempt to operate without the Light of Life? Each week at Youth For Christ, we interact with hundreds of students who are attempting to find their way in the dark. Whether it be in suburban or in city programs, students without a strong faith in Christ are trying to maneuver their way through equally dark schools, dark neighborhoods and sometimes dark family lives as well.
Another interesting evening event unfolds on the Catalano farm at dusk. Each night our youngest set of six chickens will find their way to the back door of our house. They will peck at the slider and wait for our ten-year-old daughter to come out and show them into their coop. Even though they exit the coop in the morning through the normal chicken door, they haven’t found out how to get in at night. They do, however, know where they can find guidance from a trusted friend.
Again, much like the life of the students to whom we minister, finding their way into safety and out of the darkness of this world involves the guidance of a trusted YFC staff member or volunteer. Being faithfully there at the right time to guide them out of the darkness is both a high privilege and a heavy responsibility. This concept holds true even beyond our younger years. We, as adults, also need to make sure that we have a trusted friend to guide us when darkness hovers over our lives.
As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, let’s remember Lux Venit, “the light has come”.