When I was very little I won a poetry contest reciting Robert Louis Stevenson’s “My Shadow.” The first few lines actually tie into our verse for today:
“I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me. And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.”
The shadows spoken of in Colossians are all the Old Testament ordinances that foreshadowed Christ’s coming. They did serve their purpose, announcing the eventual coming of the reality of Christ. As a shadow approaches, the reality is not far behind.
How sad to know there are those who embrace shadows today. Rather than recognizing the reality of salvation in Christ, some would rather live with religious regulations and traditions. And like shadows, there is only empty coldness. One cannot love and serve a shadow.
So many try the shadows not realizing they have missed the Essence. This is especially true for those who have grown up in the Church and think they have tried Christianity. The fact is that religious do’s and dont’s are not the same as a personal relationship with Christ! One can confuse shadow with reality.
Rather than chasing after shadows, I want the reality of Christ in me. I do not want to confuse the two. I do not want to be content with just the customs and traditions of religion. I want relationship. I want the reality of things unseen. As II Cor. 4:18 tells me, the things unseen are eternal.
It amazes me that Christ wants a relationship with me as well! The shadows have had their day. Today, my relationship with Him is the reality!