When I was a small boy I had a recurring dream, perhaps bordering on a nightmare, where I would wake up to an extremely dimly lit room, frightened of not being able to see the room clearly. There were many shadows all around me, and I knew not what evils they hid from me. I’d pull the covers up over my head, and allow one trembling hand to reach slowly for the lamp switch. To my horror, the light would not get any brighter, despite all my effort in turning the switch over and over again. Terrified, I would recoil fully into my bedding, at which point I would wake up breathless, drenched in sweat. The feeling from the dream stayed with me so strongly during my waking hours that to this day I approach dark rooms all too cautiously, unsure if the light will come on when I flip the switch.
A common theme over the many years that the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been around has been the change in doctrine. Many today are unaware that Jehovah’s Witnesses once smoked cigarettes, received blood transfusions, or celebrated Holidays and birthdays, all of which are now condemned. I was around when their publications were insistent that men and women who were old enough to witness and understand the world events of 1914 would also remain alive to see the end of the present “system of things,” and see the “wicked” be destroyed at the hand of God, so as to make room for a paradise earth for loyal Jehovah’s Witnesses. Of course, hardly anyone is alive today who was of a mature enough age in 1914 to understand what was happening then. How do the current Witnesses explain the new understandings? By basically misappropriating a biblical scripture found in Proverbs 4:18 which states that “the path of the righteous ones is like the light that is getting lighter and lighter…” I’ve never been able to make a connection to what is supposedly the teachings of the One True God and the receiving of new and improved information over and over again, in the form of “new light.” l look back on my dream and I wonder, did I know something about this religion long before I committed to it?
Two thousand years ago, during the famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ told the crowd gathered before him that they were “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). He didn’t say “I am the light of the world.” No, he clearly said “YOU are the light of the world.” Yes! I believe we all have a light within us. We have the power to control its intensity, and no one can take our light away from us unless we let them. We don’t need artificial lights in the form of man-made religious organizations that claim divine inspiration but are really directed by nothing more than humans with big egos. By arming ourselves with knowledge, information and wisdom, we can light our own way. Once we learn to rely on our own light, we can then help others find their light as well. I will close by saying this: “Namaste,” which essentially means, “The light within me honors the light within you.” Let your light shine as bright as possible. Be the light of the world.