“Though you have not seen him [Jesus], you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”– 1 Peter 1:8-9
A Sunbeam in a Dark Room
Have you ever noticed how a sunbeam shining past a window curtain dominates a dark room? It usually happens when you are trying to “sleep in.” You’ve got a day off from work and no commitments, so you intend to revel in the ambrosia of sleep without demands. But, then, the sun finds a gap in the only window which sunlight can creep through and glare straight into your eyes.
No matter how you try, you can’t find a way to position your body away from that beam of light. Finally, you look straight into the beam, and when you do, you see the beauty of the day; blue sky, puffy clouds, and the sun dominate your view, filling you with awe and wonder at the beauty you see.
C.S. Lewis wrote a similar but exceedingly better analogy about a beam of light shining through a crack in a wall of an old garage. He made a valuable observation. We can either be the person that contemplates the shaft of light or be the person in the beam of light, immersed in the light and enjoying God.
Marinade in the Holy Spirit
Lewis called observing the beam Contemplation and immersion in the beam Enjoyment. For Christians, we need Contemplation – reading God’s Word, listening to a good sermon, listening to an edifying Christian podcast. Contemplation teaches us the tools we need to be effective in the Body of Christ and often leads us into the beam; into the presence of God.
Nevertheless, acquiring spiritual tools is not an end in itself. The purpose of tools is to use them, so that’s where we need to spend the majority of our time. We need to “marinade” in the Holy Spirit, having the Holy Spirit on us, in us, around us, and shining out of us; being in the Light of God is Enjoyment. That is where we need to spend most of our time – in the beam!
Westminster Shorter Catechism has this Q&A:
Q: What is the chief end of man? 1
A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
Living in the Beam
There is a considerable difference between seeing the beam and being in it. Before salvation, all we could do was see the beam. We could contemplate it. We’d see the beam, occasionally, in someone. We might contemplate the beam on Easter and Christmas and at funerals. The saved and the unsaved can contemplate the beam, but only a child of God can enter the beam. Contemplation is vital, but Enjoyment is where we should live.
Photo by Kaique Rocha, https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-brown-leaf-290617/, accessed on July 2, 2022
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1: Heidelberg Catechism, accessed on July 2, 2022