Saturday, 23 March 2013

Courage in the Night

When you last looked up at the night sky hanging above you, did you notice the stars or was it a cloudy night? Or perhaps, you do not remember because you did not focus on what is up there?

The night and its darkness hold different meanings to different species in the animal kingdom, and evoke different emotions in different people. 

But far more than the exterior, we sometimes find ourselves engulfed in a darkness that exists within our hearts and lives. A darkness that does not quite come and go as predictably as the regular giving way of the night to the day (even across seasons!). A night as cold and long as the Antarctic winter. A night in which some have somehow erected such a gigantic floodlight to overpower the darkness with the loudness of its light, creating an unnatural and false brightness that never grows dim, and thus, a world that fakes the absence of darkness. 

The night reveals to us what lies hidden in the day but nonetheless remains, undoubtedly, a reality of our world. The night reveals to us the stars that occupy the universe insofar as we keep our floodlights switched off. While the stars in the sky form a beautiful sight, what is made visible to us in our interior darkness form, more often than not, the ugliest sight we would rather shun away from or make invisible by covering them up with our floodlights.

Yet, to be made increasingly perfect in Christ, to be trekking along this tedious and arduous route towards our life's destination, we need, more so, the courage and sensibility to accept and remain in the dark and observe all that is shining out and calling for our attention. Be it a relationship not mended, a hurt not forgiven, an encouragement or word of thanks not uttered. 

In a nutshell, what are the things that are causing you and I that lousy, prickly, uncomfortable, heavy feeling that we seem to be dragging helplessly around across night and day? How have we been reacting to these "stars" that are shining at us, calling for our attention and action? Will our choice be to embark seriously on a reflection on those "stars" or to turn up the floodlights, surround my life with the awesome and powerful "Dolby sound system" that may be disguised as working overtime to finish my work, sleeping excessively, meeting up with friends everyday for a sumptuous meal to "pamper" myself...? All these distractions fake the "stars'" absence and it is natural to slowly but surely forget their existence altogether.

In every darkness, there is a star or more to be noticed and studied by the astrologers. In every dark spot of our lives lie a blockage to be noticed, dug into and ironed out, and which keeps out our peace and joy until the channel is cleared. 

The thing is... How courageous do we want to be in the darkness of our lives?

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