When The Darkness Creeps Up

Image by Mihai Paraschiv from Pixabay

I’m sitting in my armchair in the kitchen. Suddenly, and without much notice on my behalf, I found myself sitting in the dark. It had been bright only moments ago. I had been amazed at the sudden change of light to dark without even paying attention to what exactly had taken place. I sat in the darkness for a while because the comfort of being in the chair outweighed the desire to turn on the light. However, when the darkness became overwhelming I got up and turned on the light.

I obtained from this a glimpse into the daily spiritual life of each and every one of us. One minute there is light, and for a time things are going well. However, the darkness of depression lingers in the background and by increments creeps upon us. That’s how the Devil works. If he came all at once we’d spot him and avoid his tricks. No, he crawls and hides in the shadows for some time. Sculptor of evil that the Devil is, he takes his time before his demonic masterpiece of destruction is finally realized.

Are you ready for the spooky part? The piece of music playing over my speakers while all this unfolded had been the Russian Orthodox Chant, “In the dark night”.

The lesson to be learned about the darkness is simply to be aware of its approach. That way we can turn on the light of faith before it overtakes us. Often we are aware the darkness surrounds us, but we are enjoying the comfort of sin. Getting up and turning on the light seems cumbersome. One may be tempted to think the person who nips it in the bud is better than the latter who takes his time at turning on the light. However, sometimes experiencing the darkness can be beneficial too.

How can one drink if he doesn’t first experience thirst? The man who drinks water whenever he pleases even though he be not thirsty is doing well. He has plenty and to spare. He walks carelessly with the bucket of water not caring too much for the drops he spills along the way. He shows disregard for that which he is in the abundance of. But the man who knows what it’s like to live through the drought will always treat the bucket of water he carries with more care, even though he now be in great abundance of it.

It is the same with the darkness in our lives. Those of us who have experienced the darkness will always appreciate the light more. Those who grew up in the faith with much light about them tend to not do so well when the darkness creeps upon them. A healthy balance of light and dark is needed to form a good painting or photograph. The same balance is needed in the formation of a soul on a journey to achieve total union in God.

What do you do when the darkness creeps up on you?

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