Saturday, February 13, 2016

who is afraid of the dark?





In my small house, I have tiny night lights in the bathroom as well as the kitchen. In a corner of the living room, the soft glow of the indicator light on my modem gives me just enough light so that I am able to make out certain things, such as one very large couch that I would probably bump into otherwise! Although I live in a small town, there are enough lights here to make it feel inviting, but not so daunting, as when I lived in the city. In fact, I can see so many MORE stars out here than I ever knew was possible when I lived in the cities. Sometimes too much light can be as bad as not enough.

Then there is the Dark. 
Darkness isn't just about electricity. On the Arctic Circle, where darkness is a way of life for almost four months of the year, light is very much appreciated. This is why the ancient Druids, who lived up in the northernmost reaches of the world, had their festivals that celebrated light on the Winter Solstice. They knew that the first day of winter is the shortest day--meaning the least amount of daylight-and that now, the daylight would increase once again. 

Many folks have issues with the amount of--or lack of--daylight in the winter and suffer from SAD....with symptoms of sleepiness, fatigue and general lethargy that resembles some animals when they ready for hibernation. I know from experience that although I don't have this disorder, when those nasty cold fronts come through, all I want to do is stay in my warm jammies all day, read a good book and maybe take in a long nap!

That being said, the darkness that got me started on all of this is an even deeper darkness, what St. Therese referred to as the darkness of the soul; a time when she felt so far away from God, though she loved Him more deeply each day. For her, it was a time of deep sorrow, of fervent prayer, invocation and meditation, yet she couldn't seem to feel the satisfaction that she always did, knowing He was near to her.

You can probably relate to having this at some point in your life also. Those deep valleys that seem to have no end. That dark tunnel in which light cannot penetrate. Episodes in which you feel you will simply go mad for lack of Hope...

When God created the earth and everything in it, He proclaimed on the first day, "Let there be Light!" and it was good. He then separated the light from the darkness. Light was so important, all things cannot survive for very long without light. All living things thrive on it, plants, animals, even you. Remember SAD? How much better we feel when Spring arrives! Look how many flock to places such as Florida and California during the winter to seek more light!

How about you...do you also seek more Light, in this case, God, who is our Light...without Him in our lives, doesn't it always seem dark? Light equals Hope. When we go through those dark tunnels, we seek that light at the end of it. The pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. The sunny day after many rainy ones. I used to drive a semi-truck cross country. Let me tell you, I have seen nothing darker than when I drove through the deserts out West. I could make out nothing, absolutely nothing at night! There were no freeway lights, maybe an occasional vehicle going in the opposite direction was all. No trees or other landmarks...then, off in the distance I would see a dome of soft light that meant a town was coming up. Oh, how eagerly I kept driving! Light! "I'm coming!" I'd tell that light, "almost there!" and then...the town would soon be behind me...and more darkness ahead of me. My shoulders would sag....once more, my truck was swallowed up in the darkness, until maybe fifty miles, maybe 75, I'd see once more that soft glow of a distant town. Once more, I'd feel that hope rise within me....I'd focus on that light, I'd keep my hopes and my eyes on that light, knowing that soon, the dark would be gone, if only for the brief span of the minutes it took for me to drive through yet another small settlement. It didn't matter the population....all I knew...was that in that darkness....I saw a small shred of life.

Did you see the metaphor? God is our Light! We go through darkness A LOT in our lives. Illness, job loss, debt, relocation, sometimes a virtual upheaval of everything we have become familiar with. It becomes dark. We grope about, trying to find our way. "Where is that light?" we grumble. "I can't see...it is so dark here...so cold...so hopeless!" 

Tell yourself..."God is our Hope. God is our Light!" He will always be there to take you by the hand..."yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for Thy Rod and Thy Staff...they comfort me..." Even the psalmist knew this, stranded in those valleys with nothing but sheep and darkness at night for company. He knew that soon, there'd be the  light of a new day, a new mountain, no more shadows. It was only a small amount of time.

The same is true of us...our troubles may seem insurmountable...but it is only a small amount of time in which we will climb up and out of them. Time is always a great healer. Walk in peace with God, the Giver of Light. When you look back on your life and as the poem goes, you see only one set of footprints, it was then that He carried you!
You are never alone.

2 Corinthians 4:6
For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God's glory displayed in the face of Christ.