Running on High Beams

He is driven from light into the realm of darkness
    and is banished from the world.

  • Job 18:18

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

  • John 8:12

The other day, I drove my wife to the dialysis center in the dark, an hour before her normal time.  She had a catheterization procedure scheduled in the afternoon and she wanted to go home between the two procedures to freshen up.  The update will have to follow.  She is fine, but we may not know for a couple of weeks if the procedure helped.

So, here we were driving in the dark.  I do not like driving in the dark.  My wife has profound night blindness, and I have a bit of trouble.  But necessity put us on the road at that time.

My worst fear happened as we climbed the big hill to get out of our little valley.  A pick-up truck came down the hill, in a hairpin curve, with his lights on bright.  He was too self-absorbed to dim his lights.  I hit the brakes in fear of missing the curve; I was blinded for a moment.  I could do the math and show how many yards or meters I would travel in that moment, but the point is, I did not wish to wreck our vehicle that was less than a year old.

We survived and no dint in the SUV.  When we got to the top of the hill, I found out why the driver had his lights on high beam.  We were hit by a heavy fog.

For those that are not scratching your heads in horror, you should NEVER use high beams while driving in a fog.  The light bounces off the tiny water droplets that make up the fog and all you see is a white sheet in front of you – nothing else.  But too many people panic in a fog and do the opposite of what they should do – dim your lights and slow down.

I was reminded of a dear friend and carpool mate from forty years ago.  I have told the story of how he had gone to San Francisco on vacation, was offered a senior discount, and was offended until he saw how much the savings was.  But when he was the driver, he used high beams, even in the fog.  I was not the only person in the carpool to suggest diming the lights so that he would not blind himself in the fog, but his answer was always, “If I do not use high beams, I cannot see the road.”

I have often heard that sentence.  “If I do not use high beams, I cannot see the road.”

There are many meanings for the sentence.  In my friend’s case, he should have probably had his license revoked, but he was not of retirement age, at least not yet.  And he was an excellent driver during the day.  When the carpool fell apart, it was just the two of us, and I had perfect confidence in his driving, until the fog set in.  My wife drove me to the hospital one night when I had kidney stones.  I think I could have walked to the hospital faster.  She is nearly blind at night, and the ophthalmologist is baffled.

In some cases, the person is simply too rude and self-centered to ever think of dimming the lights, for any reason.  Maybe they are full of hate, remembering being blinded in the past by bright headlights, so they will blind everyone, eventually blinding the one who had blinded them.  So sad, to be so self-absorbed.

But then there are those that leave off half the sentence.  “If I do not use high beams, I cannot see the road … at least far enough to be safe due to my excessive speed.”  They out drive their headlights.

I have a book here somewhere that has a quote about how Christians are constantly outdriving their headlights.  What the pastor or theologian meant was that part of a Christian’s life was stepping forward, or driving forward, in faith.  Not seeing what is ahead, but trusting in Jesus.

But I am thinking of those people with a lack of faith, who use their high beams, afraid of hitting a deer, ground hog, or raccoon in the middle of the night.  “Sorry, I am late for work … again.  I hit a deer … again.”  They could try waking up 5-10 minutes earlier and not drive as fast.  Then, they might be able to stop in time.  Usually with most deer, they will run the wrong way, but if you hit the brakes in time, you will not have to completely stop.  I did say “usually,” and working in deer country, and ground hog country, you must be on the lookout and drive a bit slower than usual at night.

But all of this is a safety talk up to this point.

Regarding the first Scripture, too many of us are like the wicked man, as described by Bildad, the Shuhite, the friend of Job.  Of course, Bildad was equating Job’s misery to that of the wicked man, but we can overlook that for a moment.  The wicked man is driven from the light into the darkness.  Why?  Light is good.  Why would anyone wish for the darkness?  Elsewhere in Scripture it talks of the evil doings in the darkness.  The evil doer can escape in the shadows, but God still knows those deeds.

No, I think the main reason we are “driven” from the light is that our own selfish desires urge us into the darkness.  We are avoiding the Light because God is watching, and we might do something naughty.

Jesus is the light of the world.  When we seek the light, we face the light.  No nook or cranny about us is hidden from the light.  We are on full display.  God can outshine the brightest high beams ever.  It is like He has x-ray vision.  He can see right through us.  He can see our soul.  Is our soul yearning to be cleansed and more like Jesus every day?  Or are we reserving a little bit of “self” just for old-time’s sake?

We run the high beams, not to see the deer coming before us.  We run the high beams to avoid God who is watching us as we go, as if we could ever increase our speed enough to outrun His Love and His watchful eye.

Turn around and embrace Him.  Once you are His, He will never let you go.

And, oh yeah, dim the lights in the fog and when other people approach.  They’ll appreciate that and they just might return the favor.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

One Comment

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  1. And today, as I drove to the dialysis center in the dark again, I dodged nine deer.


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