FB article 12-07-20 A driver replaced his headlights with flashlights: Do we do the same? A motorist in Washington recently found out the hard way that using flashlights as headlights won’t work. They just aren’t designed for that purpose. The batteries aren’t either, no matter how high-powered they might be. A state patrolman pulled over a driver when he noticed the headlights were “super dim.” After further inspection, he noticed the headlights on the car had been replaced by large flashlights, which is illegal in the state, as it doesn’t meet the lumen requirements. The damaged car was missing headlights, and the makeshift replacement surprised the patrolman. “I don’t know of any car manufacturer that duct tapes flashlights to the front of their cars upon sale. But you know, I guess this is 2020, right?” Illuminate the dangers If you have ever driven along a country road on a moonless night, you know how valuable headlights are. They illuminate dangers that may be lurking ahead or to the side of the road. While most of us would never try to replace a headlight with a flashlight, many of us are guilty of trying to illuminate our darkness with our own devices in other ways. After all, this is 2020, right? There has been a lot of “darkness” in our lives this year. Most of us cannot remember a time when our lives have been so upended: a raging pandemic, chaos and riots, and a nation torn apart by politics. It is not surprising that this year’s Christmas lights began shining earlier for a lot of Americans. A professor of psychology explained it this way: “On the surface, the first thing that you could argue, easily, is that lights, which obviously are associated with joy, and bring back a lot of good memories, are a way of alleviating depression, sadness, feeling down, anxiety, stress—all the things the pandemic has increased.” What happens when the Christmas lights come down? Will the depression, sadness, feeling down, anxiety, and stress still be there? Will we search for another source of light and joy? Overcome “this present darkness” Our present darkness is the result of a spiritual warfare: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). And, the darkness is the work of Satan: “The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4). There’s only one way to overcome our “present darkness.” While our temporary fixes may bring temporary help, the duct tape will eventually wear out or the batteries wear down. Isaiah prophesied the coming Messiah would be a light in the darkness: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone” (Isaiah 9:2). Jesus made the bold claim, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). The Creator of light became Light and the darkness has not, and cannot, overcome it (John 1:1–5). This Christmas, the “light of the world” still shines brightly, illuminating the dangers in our path. Live wisely, and don’t exchange him for a lesser light.