I ventured out on a bike ride from Shoreham to Guilford on the Downs Link recently. Its 40 miles of disused railtrack linking the South Downs to the North Downs. It was also billed as the hottest day of the year – so sunscreen was lavishly spread out across exposed flesh.

Contrary to weather forecast, the ride started off in cloud and I felt a bit foolish with the shades and sunscreen. However 20 miles on, the sun was beating down. It was then I noticed something had changed.

For the first 20 I could manage the path ahead but as soon as the sun came out it became more tricky. Now I cant prove this, and I am open to greater minds on this – but not only was the sunlight brighter but the shade seemed darker too. The contrast made it more difficult for me to navigate.

Leaving aside the possibility of any visual difficulties and/or better scientific explanations for this phenomenon, I think there is some other truth to be explored – namely at the same time as things become brighter, they can also become darker and more difficult to navigate.

When I think about the choices I face as a man who loves Jesus, it can sometimes be difficult to follow Jesus’ way. It can also seem easier to be selfish, passive and apathetic. Switch off. Disengage. Disconnect. Isolate.

Maybe the way forward for me is to stay in the light of what Jesus wants for me rather than pursue the destructive lifestyle of the self-obsessed. Reboot. Hook up. Bond. Attach. Pour in. Ignite. Initiate.

I think I’ll go and chew on the ‘Wise Man and Foolish Man’ story that Jesus told – in Matthew 7 – or dive into the wonders of 1 John 1. Those will keep me on the saddle and in the light – even if its difficult.

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