Darkness abounds. Nonetheless wisdom beckons, reminding those who'll listen to make the very best of the dark days we're in rather than allowing these dark days to get the best of us.
However, that's not easy. Darkness is easier to adapt to than light. Here in Alaska, summer's glaring midnight sun is pretty offensive at bedtime. But the extra light is good, providing lots of time for healthy activities, leaving a healthier, better you at summer's end. In sharp contrast, winters up here offer minimal light. The lack of light makes it feel almost natural to do what's in reality, unnatural. If you give in to that which you feel you cannot control, you participate in unhealthy things like under-exercising, over-sleeping, overeating and substance abuse. The bad choices made in winter's darkness aren't much noticed until after the summer sun begins to shine its "offensive" light on the fatter, lazier, dependent, unhealthy you.
You miss the darkness because it covered over who you are like a comforting, warm winter blanket. And you loathe the light because it exposes the person you became while subsisting in the darkness.
I believe this is where we are today in anti-God, anti-what's-right America. Too many people have effectively relinquished their First Amendment rights, somehow believing that political correctness will keep them safe. As uncomfortable as it might be, though, America's only hope lies with those who dare step out of the silence to boldly speak truth into a messed-up world that's getting darker by the minute.
History reminds us that even during the darkest of days, hope rises when people speak up. It's a mistake to bite your tongue in silence thinking that's what Jesus would do. There's a reason Jesus said in Matthew 10:34 he "did not come to bring peace, but a sword." The Bible calls that sword "the word of truth." Buttoned lips don't speak truth and bring about as much peace as Barack Obama's foreign policy has.
Jesus also instructed his followers to sell their possessions to buy swords, teaching them to toughen up. Sure, Jesus silently submitted to death on a cross for mankind's sins -- because he's the only one who could.
The rest of us are born to fight with all our might for what is right. Not sit on our rears quietly shooting peace signs until the light goes out.
Uncomfortable much? Good. Find it unfair? Tough. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Author J.R.R. Tolkien got it. In his epic novel, "The Lord of the Rings," Tolkien wrote: "We shouldn't be here. But we are."
Yes, we are. Here. In the darkness. And we cannot go back to simpler days...better days...more innocent days. Nevertheless, the weak and cowardly among us will selfishly look away, fencing their lives within the false security of silence. Indeed, some will turn back, angry the darkness dared to invade during their lifetime, interfering with plans and the living of their daily lives.
But looking away, fencing yourself in or turning back doesn't repel darkness; it reinforces it.
Thankfully there are those, the light-bearers, who'll courageously press forward. They'll find their voice and boldly use it to blast the darkness. They've read The Book, so they understand this present darkness is nothing to fear; It's just a shadow. Better days will follow. Darkness will be destroyed.
In the meantime, speaking out will get uncomfortable. It already is. And we'll wish, as Tolkien wrote, it wouldn't "have happened in my time." Our time. But it's not for us to worry because as Tolkien penned, "All we have to decide, is what to do with the time that is given us."
So light-bearers, get busy getting the best of the darkness rather than allowing it to get the best of you. Remember: If there's even just a glimmer of goodness left flickering out there, it's worth the fight.