“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Ps. 51:10, KJV).
Less than 24 hours after I saw a CNN news report about the TSA shootings at Los Angeles International Airport, I heard the news about yet another shooting—and shooter—at a New Jersey mall. Then there’s the Washington Naval Yard shooting and the Sandy Hook school incident—just thinking about the perpetrators’ troubled pasts and torturous acts is depressing. It’s apparent that more and more people can’t handle life and are seeking devastating and deadly solutions to their soul sickness. The balm in Gilead is an unknown restorative.
But here’s a contrast. I enter the community gym with my children. It is their first judo class since summer. Smiles and handshakes welcome us back into the fold. Happy, determined, and dedicated are the students and senseis. The positive spirit in the gym—and on the mat—belies the outside world. When the judo session concludes, I watch the participants take that sunshine with them into the dark November night.
Are these people unaware of what’s going on in the real world?
No, they are aware. But they choose to cultivate a right spirit, they choose to shine a light into the darkness.
We all have choices. We must make a conscious choice to be people of light, of right. And here’s an important distinction: our choice must be gilded with God’s power, unleashed through prayer and faith.
As Christians, we are urged to choose light over dark; to see the sin around us and with God’s power transcend it. It’s not nearly as easy as walking into a gym and casting cares aside, but it can be done. It must be done. As earth’s history nears completion the world needs us more than ever. And we need Christ more than ever.