Streetlights are wonderful. Yet, they can be problematic. They help me see things I need to see. They also present an obstacle to seeing what I need, or would like, to see. For instance, there is so much light pollution that I am prevented from seeing some of the wonders of the night. Places where there is significant darkness are hard to discover without taking a long drive. No more lying in the back yard to be amazed by stars and constellations.
Many have heard the story about the man who was “tripped up” by the streetlight. The story goes that he was searching frantically under a streetlight. A passerby noted his frantic search and offered to help find the lost article, whatever it was. The passerby stated “It is obvious that you have lost something. I would like to help. What is it you are looking for and where exactly did you lose it?” The man stopped his frantic search just long enough to answer “my wallet” and “I lost it over there” as he pointed into the darkness. The passerby, puzzled as well as astonished responded “Why are you looking under the streetlight?” The man quickly responded “The light is better here.”
Certainly a silly story and, seemingly, not likely to happen. But, it really does happen, at least in a fashion, in many respects, and on a regular basis; or so I suspect. Consider how we deal with certain problems and/or dilemmas. We look for a solution while staying under the streetlight. But, the solution is not there. Rather, the solution is in the unexplored darkness, where the light is not so good. We must be willing to move beyond the “safety and security” of the streetlight into the realm where a solution can be found. It takes courage. The streetlight is familiar, seemingly safe, and seemingly the best place to search for the solution. But, staying under the streetlight may just preclude finding the “lost wallet”. Think about. There are times when I must wander from the “illumination” of the streetlight.