Jesus said: “Walk in the light while you can, so that darkness will not overtake you.  Those who walk in darkness do not know where they are going.  Put your trust in the light while you still have the light, so that you may be children of light.” 

John 12:35-36

Notes for Contemplation as You Use this Devotional:

  • This passage, from the Gospel Writer called John, the most mystical of the four main Gospel writers, invites reflection before action.
  • The effectiveness of our faith directly corresponds to our ability to reflect on what needs light, or clarity, in ourselves.
  • Clarity and understanding are part of discernment, a process which can help us become children of light, or spiritually enlightened.  
  • Understanding extends beyond our intelligence, experience, or education, and includes intuition and faith.  This combination allows us to trust in the light because, as Rev. William Warch says in How to Use Your Twelve Gifts From God, “understanding is knowing with your heart.”
  • As Dr. Tasha Eurich, researcher and organizational psychologist explains in her January 2018 Harvard Business Review article, “It is . . . widely assumed that introspection — examining the causes of our own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors — improves self-awareness. . . .  Yet, one of the most surprising findings of our research is that people who introspect are less self-aware and report worse . . . satisfaction and well-being.”
  • Therefore, when we trust in the light, we also trust that God is in the midst of us, with us and within us, everywhere, all the time.  That way, we avoid brooding too long or trying to figure everything out for ourselves.

Contemplation Questions:

Ask yourself:

  • When I contemplate my life now, in what ways do I feel as if I am in the dark, continually rehashing dramas or brooding about the past?
    • Consider all aspects of your life: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
    • Create a category for each aspect, and list, word map, or illustrate whatever applies.
  • When I contemplate my life now, in which areas do I want to gain more clarity about myself, my choices, and my motivations more fully?
    • Again, consider all aspects of your life: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
    • Create a category for each aspect, and list, word map, or illustrate whatever applies.
  • When I contemplate my life now, which loved ones, friends, and/or colleagues do I want to understand more fully?
    • Create a category for each person.
    • Then list, word map, or illustrate the specific behaviors or characteristics you hope to understand.
  • How have I been using only my intelligence, experience, and education to gain more clarity about myself or others?
    • List, word map, or illustrate as much as you can.  A way to notice whether you’re relying only on these is if you have a “should” belief about something, such as “I should have known better” or “I shouldn’t have done that.”  
  • As I contemplate all my answers, what am I willing to turn over to God so I can move beyond mere introspection and hear my own still, small voice, my intuition, more fully?
    • Review everything you have discerned so far.  Then, list, word map, or illustrate as much as you can imagine.  If you feel especially faithful or courageous, imagine turning everything over to God in trust as Jesus did.
  • Who are at least three (3) people I trust to support, nurture, and encourage me as I gain the clarity and understanding I seek?
    • List, word map, or illustrate who they are.
    • Then note everything you are willing to do to stay connected with them as your discernment process unfolds.

Go slowly this devotional and trust your own divine process.  Stay open to seeing Jesus as a great example of how to be, rather than a great exception.  This way Jesus is not only a light of the world, but the wayshower, elder brother, or master teacher who encourages us to be clear about where we can shine our own light.  Also, consider journaling or illustrating all the ways that you are becoming enlightened.  And celebrate, no matter how small, every achievement.

© 2021 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved.

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