I can’t see stars.
I’ve never seen the big dipper, the northern lights or a rain of shooting stars. My dad and mom live in the country so they were sure I would be able to see a comet from their backyard. There was a telescope set up but that didn’t work. We drove up into mountains, chasing that comet, trying to get a better view but that didn’t work. Being surrounded by what is called “light pollution,” I suppose our thinking was by getting away from street lights and the illuminations of neighborhoods, stores and office buildings, I would be able to see what they were seeing, but that didn’t work.
Light pollution is the presence of unwanted, inappropriate, or excessive artificial lighting. In a descriptive sense, the term “light pollution’ refers to the effects of any poorly implemented lighting, during the day or night.
Unwanted light? Light being called inappropriate even polluted? Because I’m a light lover, this definition of “light pollution” has my attention this morning.
Of course I get the term, and yes, I suppose there are times when dimming the lights is called for, but the idea that light is ever unwanted, inappropriate, or excessive is hard for someone that never seems to get enough!
The issue, I suppose, is the source.
If we take a deeper look, there is a source of artificial light that is polluting, it is excessive and inappropriate. It has been, for a time, allowed to falsely illuminate, causing distortions, confusion and has deceived many.
I heard a commercial the other day that caused me to stop and listen. And I quote, “I just thought the powers of darkness would be, you know, darker- (background laughter)” -Evil.
In 2 Corinthians 11:14 we are warned that, even the devil himself, wears a mask, pretending to be light.
Here the devil is exposed, called out as the polluter of light. He lures with false, artificial light, and with the ‘it’s not that bad’, kind of inky light. He makes dingy things less dark.
Long exposure to his artificial light results in; worry, doubt, anxiety , shame, mistrust , guilt, self-promotion, pride, dissatisfaction, and fear. He dulls and deceives, distracts and distorts light. He disguises himself as an angel of light.
He enlists many by wrapping himself in the norms of society and entertainment, in the opinions of the majority and in the advertisements of happiness. He presents things as achievable and attractive, making it hard for the untrained eye to distinguish right and wrong. He sometimes even uses his puny bit of light to disarm and distract those of us that know better but have become afflicted with lazy eyes.
It seems like, more than ever before, we are surrounded by excessive, inappropriate light. Mix that with our own evil desires and, if we aren’t careful, our eyes become too adjusted and we tolerate more artificial light than we should.
This in your face onslaught of pollution requires us to recognize, to discern, and to rid our homes of poorly implemented light.
I want to be better at this but I’m lazy sometimes.
I don’t want to give up on chasing truth but sometimes I get tired.
I want to be wise to the polluter of light because I love the true source of real light!
I confess, sometimes I tolerate more poorly implemented light than I should.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take our stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:10-12 (NIV)
Lord, thank you for being the author and source of light. Thank you that in you, there is no hint of darkness. Help me to chase truth and recognize distracting, false illuminations that promise happiness. Help me to be alert, discerning those things that will distance me from you and hurt my love relationship with you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen