We were heading south for a short holiday after Christmas and stopped in Gin Gin for petrol.
Parked there was a vehicle which announced itself as "RMIT Aurora Support Team". RMIT stands for "Royal Institute of Technology" – now the RMIT University in Melbourne. The name "Aurora" didn’t really register anything at first. So, while Alison got the book to record our distances and times, I went to the pump to fill the tank.
Hand on the nozzle, I glanced around in time to see the support vehicle moving towards the highway. That’s when it suddenly all "clicked". I saw it – the Aurora. Hugging the ground like a very large oblong cockroach was a solar-powered vehicle, moving out to drive north along the highway.
It was too late to get the camera – that opportunity was gone. If you were on the road around that time you may have seen it. I see that it was on a 13,000 km Around Australia Journey and was due to have rests or overnight stops in Bowen and Townsville. So… perhaps you saw it while we were away.
By the time we came to the Sunshine Coast and then on to Brisbane, it was raining, some of it very heavy rain – not so good for a solar-powered car, I imagine. Would the support vehicle have to take the Aurora on board until the weather cleared? The news release said it was to set out on this trip on 27 December 2001. We saw it on 31 December, its fifth day out from Melbourne. Had it really managed Melbourne to Gin Gin in four days?
We are creatures of the light. If we want to do things "after dark" or go into dark places, we need the help of some form of artificial light – whether a candle, lantern or torch, or a light wired into the electricity supply.
Jesus said of himself, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (Jn 8.12).
Not just physically, but spiritually also, we are designed to be "children of the light". Paul wrote that "you are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness" (1 Thess. 5.5). The reality of God – in revelation and redemption – doesn’t only show us the way, enabling us to see where we shouldn’t go and where we should. God’s light gives us life, empowering us to live.
When we allow our days to be clouded over with sin, guilt, fear, discouragement, disappointment, anger… we "lose power", just as surely as the Aurora does.
John wrote that "If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin" (1 Jn 1.6-70).
Walk in the light – live in the reality of the God who has revealed himself to us in Jesus Christ, and live in the knowledge of his saving and transforming grace.
It’s a new year. Let’s walk it together with him.
© Peter J. Blackburn, Link, February 2002