by Juni Felix
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light…” – Ephesians 5:8
In one of my favorite movies, the year is 2045 and Wade Watts is living in a time where people don’t bother trying to fix problems, they simply hope to outlive them. He says, ‘These days, reality is a bummer and everyone is trying to escape it.’ Their favorite way to escape is to lose themselves in a virtual reality realm called ‘The Oasis.’ A place where they could finally get away from it all by designing and controlling an avatar who lives the life of their dreams. A place where they stay not because of what they could do, but because of ‘all the things they could be.’
In many ways, our lives on this side of Glory are not very different from the world Wade lives in. So often because of the pain of the past, disappointment in the present, and fear of the future, you and I are tempted to look for ways to escape. When life is an ongoing bummer, it’s tempting to decide there are too many problems and not enough solutions and to resign yourself to simply going through the motions.
But as Children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, there’s a beautiful alternative to giving up, giving in, and making a lifestyle of escape. By faith, you have the opportunity and the power to choose to become the designer of a better future. But you can’t walk through this door unless you decide, just as the residents of the fictional Oasis have, who you want to be.
Do you want to be the kind of person who is an intentionally faithful ancestor, impacting generations to come with your confidence in the fact that God is Who He says He is? The kind of person who is known to not only say you will pray but to actually pray? The kind of person who is in the habit of looking for what’s good and worthy of praise instead of focusing on what isn’t going right?
Do you want to become the type of person who offers a word of hope and encouragement to others, especially when you know they’ve had a really hard day? What about the type of person who uses your gifts creatively to encourage and bless someone who needs a reminder of their worth and value in this world?
What if you were the kind of person who serves up one-of-a-kind meals prepared with love and joy? What about becoming the kind of person who remains calm, reminding everyone to breathe when the situation seems out of control? What if you decide to become the one who ‘lights a candle instead of cursing the darkness.’*
You and I are Children of the Light (Eph. 5:8). Though we were once in darkness, we were called out of darkness and into God’s marvelous light (1 Pet. 2:9). If you embrace your eternal identity as a Child of the Light, your life will incrementally become a source of hope that reminds others that God is with us, always.
We are each designing the life we believe we deserve, and Jesus says that, because of His sacrifice, what we deserve as Children of God is abundant life, overflowing with His joy. If you’re not there yet, that’s alright, because lives and legacies are built one tiny decision at a time.
The level of daily joy you experience is directly related to who you want to be and your love for Jesus. In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).
So, who do you want to be?
*”It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness” is often credited to Eleanor Roosevelt.