Brooklyn, at four, asks a lot of deep questions. I doubt many adults have their minds pursue the unique inquiries she makes. Spiritual, philosophical, larger-than-life issues that she is truly curious about.
She explained how she doesn’t like the dark. I agreed wholeheartedly; I’ve never been fond of the dark. As a child, I was terrified to be in a dark room alone. I’d have the most unbelievable nightmares that often would stay with me for days.
Brooklyn’s dislike of the dark follows much the same pattern. She doesn’t like what she becomes afraid of when she can’t see around her. She has light in her bedroom that makes it easier to fall asleep and banishes fear of what might be out there to hurt her.
Being afraid of the dark is not an uncommon fear. As an adult, I do better being alone at night in a dark house. I used to leave lights on everywhere so I could see in case I woke while it was still nighttime. Nightmares happen on occasion; too often they come from reading a thriller before I go to sleep. My imagination takes over and I’m in the midst of something I could never envision in daylight.
The whole idea of nightmares came roaring back while I was in a zoom meeting, and one of my coworkers, in his presentation, shared an old Japanese proverb.
“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.”
We’re living at a time when everyone is putting forth a vision for what they believe our world should look like. Much of what is talked about either seems too good to be true or doesn’t have the substance to be real at all. True vision is the ability to think and plan for the future with imagination and wisdom. We need imagination to think outside the box to what is possible. We also need wisdom to take into account all who are impacted by a given vision so as many as possible can benefit.
What makes sense with that proverb is the reality that many can think of grand ideas for growth and hope yet have no follow-through to make it happen. It remains pie-in-the-sky. But taking action without a vision or hope for what that action can cost others is nothing short of a terrifying nightmare.
Brooklyn had it right. We need to cast light on these grand thoughts to see them clearly, to understand the impact they could have, to prepare for misunderstandings that will surely arise.
God is that Light. Even in the midst of the darkest situations, His light of truth shines on what we need to see and understand. Darkness is a cover for those who don’t want their actions to be seen, for those who hide. Bringing ideas and conversations into the light exposes what we may not see at first, what may be a hidden problem, what might cause more hurt than help.
As adults, we don’t want to be the cause of nightmares, for ourselves or anyone else.
If we invite the Light of God into our lives, He will deal with those fears.
Action and vision together create hope.