We live on a street where we get power outages often. And, by often, I mean sometimes when there is a gust of wind that wouldn’t push a sailboat 10 feet, we lose electricity. As soon as it starts blowing outside, my neighbors and I have gotten into the habit of gathering flashlights and charging our cellphones. But as often as it happens to us, we still never get used to living without the comfort of those lights, and we don’t realize how much we rely on electricity until we have to go without it. I can’t tell you how many times I have walked into my pantry KNOWING THE ELECTRICITY IS OUT, and still flipping on the light switch. Habit.
This week, it happened not only in my house, but at the place where I teach my Body & Soul Fitness classes, as well. And I didn’t realize that the power was out until I got to the building, so I didn’t have time to notify my students to cancel class. I am an over-planner, so this realization really threw me. It was our last class of the session and we were looking forward to a fun Christmas workout and get-together after class. I said a quick prayer asking for guidance. Fortunately, it was an unusual 58 degree day in December in Michigan, so, as I looked around outside, there was a nearby church parking lot that was well lit. I decided to have the ladies grab their weights from the dark building and head over there to exercise. I texted my emergency sub and asked her to bring a portable speaker. The wind was blowing harder by the time we started our warm up, though, and we were getting chilly. Just then we saw one of the lights come on inside the building, so we decided that it was better to work out with a little bit of light and not have to deal with the wind than be outside. So, we jogged back over to our building and counted that as part of our workout. We proceeded with our Christmas-themed FIT360 Boot Camp in the half dark, feeling accomplished that although we couldn’t see each other very well, the holiday songs were loud enough and we were getting our workout in.
This time of year, many of us can feel like we are dodging obstacles trying to get things done in the same way. We can be easily discouraged by the “darkness” in our world — in the news, in our communities, and in our personal lives. Things often don’t go as planned. We can be tempted to throw up our hands in frustration. Fortunately, we have access to One who had a perfect plan in place to save us 2000 years ago, whose birth we anticipate celebrating in a couple of weeks. Without God’s help, many of us could not make it through the difficulties this world brings.
Sometimes we need to go moment by moment, asking for his guidance as we persevere through the difficulties. We don’t need an elaborate prayer or a fancy title to approach our Savior for help. All we need to do is whisper, “Help me Jesus.” Oftentimes, he will answer with just a little bit of light to help you get to the next step, as he did in my Body & Soul class. This continues to happen step by step, keeping our reliance on Him until we make it through the difficulty.
This season, let us not take our source of light for granted. Sometimes it does take a dark time for us to remember that, without Him, we would be stumbling through life without direction. In John 8:12 Jesus says, “ I am the light of the world . Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Today I am grateful that I have access to that true Light, just by speaking His name. Try it. The good news is, His power never goes out — no matter how windy it gets.
Chriss Pruim teaches Body & Soul Boot Camp and Power Strength programs in Byron Center, Michigan. She is also a Boot Camp trainer, and wife to Mark and mom to Owen, Grace, and Lily.