And no wonder, since Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.
— Saul of Tarsus, Second Letter to Corinth
In my original denominational pew, we heard the vast majority of the Bible every three years. However, we didn’t do much with verses or knowing their location in the Bible.
So, as you can imagine, it was both a scary and thrilling moment when I first heard and really heard this verse in college. The thought of being deceived by something that looks oh so good and oh so promising was humbling and petrifying.
And it’s not just entities that can do this. So many ideas misapplied and so many new technologies have the same charade.
For example, a GPS is a very handy device when you get lost. However, reverse the technology, and even the simplest stalker can become your worst nightmare. If the machine knows where you’re going, so does the hacker.
Facebook too is so nice. I can keep up with aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends all over the world. We share photos and events, and we watch as our families grow and mature. We rejoice over promotions, and we weep over death and destruction. However, for the teen trying just to fit in, with the glasses and braces and less than perfect complexion and too perfect grades, it is a hellish nightmare as others can post their hatred for you and the whole world can join in their torture if their security is not properly set.
So I guess as this new year begins, I am spending more and more time thinking (while I drive or cook or clean) about what things and ideas might be wearing beautiful costumes that hide ugly outcomes. As I process all I’ve learned, I’m starting to look at my to-do list and my schedule, and I can see the ugly outcomes underneath the costumes of involved mother and dedicated professional and responsible homeowner and devoted kith and kin.
Truly, in this time of frigid winds and utter prolonged darkness, it is time to shine a light on all the items and begin to winnow them. What has limited value must be slashed. Only that with true long-term benefit can stay.
Maybe by springtime, a new, improved me will be available. My priorities will be properly aligned. There will no more masquerades and no more masks. Fake light will be pushed out by priorities that have more value.
And maybe that’s how winter and the new year should be used…