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   Reaching in the Dark 

I have a morning ritual. After showering the night off of me, I take my coffee and toast to the den to begin my day. At 5:30 am, the den is dark. I read from my devices and have no need for lights. I prefer the silence of shadow. I do need my coffee, so before dawn I sip and read. The time is peaceful and quiet, most of the time. But there is a flaw. I like to place my coffee on the side table and I habitually find my target. But habits can be broken. Blindly, I extended my arm to place my coffee down and released it into thin air. The calm was shattered by the flood of caffeine, an emergent glare of light and lots of paper towels. But here is what matters. I have had this same mishap three times. Three times I have missed the table. Three times the chair, carpet and flooring have been baptized. And three times I have told myself that this is the last time! 

Before you offer wise advice about putting the table closer, it would be helpful to consider the root problem. Anyone can have an accident, but the repetition of the same problem suggests a measure of delusion. I am deluded to think that I can perform my ritual and maintain my environment perfectly. We all want things a certain way and feel confident in our ability to achieve and maintain it just so. But humans are prone to mishaps. We are often the reason our best intentions are not played out as we want. I am also deluded thinking that I’ve learned from my mistake. The first time I missed the table I thought, “I will never do that again!” I reminded myself to set the mug with care. But repeating the mistake and then making a trinity of the same error, proves that knowing it could happen and trying to prevent it from happening - doesn’t mean it won’t. And that is my third delusion. Knowing I didn’t prevent a caffeine splash in the dark three times, doesn’t dissuade my confidence that a fourth occurrence is impossible. I will keep you posted.  

You are thinking, if not yelling at these paragraphs, “Just turn on a light!” And you would be right. Illumination would reduce, if not prevent my stumbling in the dark. It sounds so simple. It makes me wonder why we all don’t do it. “Thy Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Ps.119:105) God knows that there is darkness around us and within. He has graced us with truth undimmed and His Spirit as our Guide. We have just exited a year sprinkled with past failures or regrets. If we step into a new year confident we won’t make the same mistakes, we are stumbling in the dark of delusion. Better to stand in the Light. His Word and Voice are  trustworthy to start our day - to start our year.