Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: It's a Colorful World (12/03/09)
TITLE: Shades and Luminance
By Edmond Ng
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Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people, Who have eyes but do not see; Who have ears but do not hear. (Jeremiah 5:21 NAS)Imagine a world without colors. Everything we see is black and white. What would our lives be like? Our lives would be very different and we would only be able to differentiate an object from another through size and weight. Color is therefore an important differentiator that helps us determine whether we live our lives colorfully in vibrancy or in drab lethargy. It is, in this sense, a signifier of the many varieties and differences of every created being, and everything that constitutes a part of our environment.
Although many of us do not consciously think about color apart from how we dress to look good, it is common knowledge that the human eye can see colors only because there is light. Differences in colors as we see them depend on the type of light sent to our eyes, the shades, the reflection, the absorption and the transmission through a spectrum. We are capable of seeing color only because our eyes have light and color-sensitive receptors.
Some people however have trouble discerning colors. Color blindness, for example, is often associated with the ailment of red-green deficiency, which can cause a problem in color perception. According to The Franklin Institute, all of us, even if we are not color blind, can still have the potential to see light and colors in a different light. If a ray of light hits another object before we get to the light source, a shadow present in an area where there is less light can cause a distortion to how we perceive a color. This is because light moves in straight lines and shadows caused by objects blocking the light can block all or some of the light from hitting on the object. Shades and luminance can therefore cause the colors we see to change, and may appear darker if luminance is altered.
Christian living is very much like how we perceive colors. In the Bible, we know of the people who live their lives according to strict rules following the Books of the Law, the black and white of legality. These are the people who by following traditions and customary practices live their lives in the rigidity of legality and failed to experience the vibrancy of living out lives filled with colors, made possible by the gift of grace (Ephesians 2:8). Practitioners of the Law and their followers who do not believe or accept the grace of God are like the people who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but refuse to hear (Jeremiah 5:21; Ezekiel 12:2).
God has created the world with colors, and colors signify differentiation. No single person on earth is created the same and each of us has to go through different experiences in our lives. Just as colors are seen differently in different light, each of us has the potential to experience different depths of closeness with God. If the Light of God hits an object in our lives that we are unwilling to let go, a shadow can overcast us which will distort our perception of God and affect our relationship with Him.
Just as a shadow can influence the way we see colors through the different shades and luminance, our lives can be influenced in part or in whole, depending on the degrees of our willingness to let the light shine through. If we are unwilling to let go of the things we hold dear in our lives that are blocking us from the light that illuminates our walk with God, the draw of the world can gradually change and redirect us toward an alternate route into darkness, away from the luminance of God’s light.
Forgive us therefore dear Lord for sometimes holding on too tightly to the things of this world. Help us to be always mindful not to let the shadows of this world distort our view of You, but be willing to unblock all areas of our lives to let Your light completely shine through. Color up our lives Lord just as You have colored up the world with vibrancy. Open our eyes and lead us in Your light that we may reflect and absorb Your light to transmit it to the world.
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