I was saved when I was six-years-old, so to say I’ve been a Christian most of my life is fairly accurate. There were definitely times I rode off the rails a little bit, but there was never a point in my life where I turned completely from God.
There is something to be said though for a sheltered life. I’m not advocating that children not be protected from the outside world to a certain degree. I am incredibly careful with my son and what entertainment/company/influence he is allowed to ingest. I do believe that children should be exposed to certain things, but not until they are of an age where they can understand and properly evaluate these things.
When I graduated from high school back in 1997, my parents divorced. I was subsequently kicked out of the house by both parties, and was forced to fend for myself in a world I found out was actually pretty harsh and cruel compared to what I lived in up to that point. It was, for lack of a better description, the end of my innocence. I was like an 80’s movie character setting off on an epic journey, forced – for the first time – to see the world for what it really is: a sometimes dark and dangerous place.
Life, for me, became a contrast. There was the light I remember basking in most of my childhood. But now, there with the light, was the darkness.
This contrast, as depressing as it can seem at first, is actually a beautiful thing. Not only because it represents two sides to the same coin – life – but because one always compliments the other, whether for good or ill.
With darkness, we realize how bright the light truly is. With the light, we realize the true – and most times hidden – characteristics of the dark.
If I spend my life in darkness, it’s unlikely I know what it’s like to not live in darkness. So when light invades, when it reveals the chains, the ugliness of life, and introduces the warmth that can come with the cold, it is then that I see the purpose of the light.
If I spend my life in light, it’s unlikely I know what it’s like to not live in the light. So when darkness invades, when life gets real and tears away the mask of a fake, idyllic reality, then life is exposed for what it really is. I am then able to see the truth. I may not like what I see, but I will see things for what they truly are, not what they were pretending to be.
It’s beauty with the beast. It’s the bitter with the sweet. We will gain so much more from this life when we experience this contrast ourselves and acknowledge it for what it is:
Life in Contrast.