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My elbow is hurting just a bit, but I am still smiling as I think of how I dinged it. Traveling through time is always a risky proposition under the best of circumstances; it is far more dangerous still when the floor is wet and you go blind every other second.

Allow me to explain.

Our youth program takes place primarily during and then after the Sunday night service each week. We meet ahead of time for a few minutes to say memory verses, then the youth choir opens up the night service, some of our teenage young men take up the offering, some younger groups provide special music, and I preach a youth-centered message to the entire church. Afterward, though, is when things start to get unusual. We dismiss from service and make our way into the Hope Center, our family life building, and have some unique games for teams to compete in before having snacks and fellowship time to close the evening.

Last night as I write this, the game was one I call "A Snapshot in Time." When the young people were escorted into the building, all of the lights were out, save for one strobe light doing its "off/on/off/on" thing pretty rapidly. There was smoke everywhere, created by several pounds of dry ice being dropped into a bucket of very hot water (we used to have a smoke machine, but it was lent out and never got returned, so we had to go retro on this one).

It was then that I came running in from the door in the far corner, shirt untucked, tie all askew, wearing a tinfoil hat and carrying a briefcase. My goal was to run through the smoke over to the shocked youth group and announce that I had come back from a trip to the past where I had taken baby pictures of many people in the church, and their teams would have to try to identify them, with the team getting the most correct winning the game and the points that go with it.

And things were going along pretty well with that plan until I hit the wet spot on the floor where the dry ice had bubbled a bunch of water out of the bucket. When my boots hit that spot, I suddenly looked like a break dancer trying to take a hubcap off a moving car.

My fall was inglorious, to say the least. However, I admirably played it off as part of the skit, rolled around a few more times, got up and "stumbled" once or twice more and made my way to them and got the game underway. I did a good enough job that some of the adults actually asked, "Preacher, was that fall real or part of the act?" My elbow was proof enough that it was, in fact, very real.

I am normally very surefooted. The problem was that at that exact second I was running in the dark, not in the light, and therefore I did not see the dangerous wet spot on the slick floor. If all of the lights had been on rather than the wild strobe light, I would have easily seen the danger and avoided it.

In John 11:9-10 we read, "Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him." In John 8:12, having just uttered the words, "go, and sin no more" he said, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

There are numerous statements like this throughout the Bible, multiple instructions that we walk in the light rather than in the darkness, multiple warnings that it is dangerous to have the spiritual light off even for a second. It only took one dark moment from the strobe light to send me skidding across the floor and whacking my elbow onto the hard surface. It only takes one moment of operating in spiritual darkness to do far more damage than that.

Jesus said that following him results in us not walking in darkness. When we consistently look into the Word, find his pertinent instructions for us throughout these 66 precious books, internalize and live by those words, we will have a brightly lit path to travel on through life, well enough illuminated to see any tripping point that the devil or the world or the flesh puts in our way.

A testimony can be marred forever by walking just a moment in darkness. A ministry can come crumbling down by walking just a moment in darkness. A marriage can be shattered by walking just a moment in darkness. The respect of our children can be lost by walking just a moment in darkness. No child of God ever gets "spiritual enough" to be able to safely walk in the darkness. Every one of us is in daily, desperate need of the words of God from the Word of God and of actively and intentionally walking in the light of those words.

I did not have to travel back in time to figure that one out. I have already traveled through 50 years of time and seen the truth of those words far too many times.

Walk in the light.

Bo Wagner is pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, North Carolina, a widely traveled evangelist and the author of several books available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com. Email him at 2knowhim@cbc-web.org.

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Pastor Bo Wagner
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