Light of the Nations
Dark passageways, whether in the caverns of rock foundations or our minds, can be scary places. Too often it is our own “freewill” to make a reckless choice that leads to the feel of these gloomy tunnels closing in on us.
Yet, even as light continues to exist amidst all the darkness of our universe and world, there is reason to hope. Even when we are lost in the shadows of dysfunctional obscurity, when despair encompasses the thought processes of our minds and leaves us helplessly dangling on the collapsing ledge of our bodily existence, there is always the opportunity for a better future.
Even when we hit dead-ends on our life path, when all appears lost and beyond our control, there is always hope for a better outcome than we might imagine. While we should always try to be the best of who we can be, sometimes we just can’t attain that lofty standard, and even when we do, that might not seem to be enough. But we never truly know what is waiting for us, whether just around the corner, or in another place. We should never give up on life, or ourselves.
As a teenager, I took part in a scary adventure. A few of us were going to explore private caves hidden in the ground beneath off-of-the-beaten-path farmland. Expecting this one rock opening to be nothing more than a “hole in the wall” cavern, we entered the cave totally unprepared for our impending encounter. In retrospect, I can only claim youthful enthusiasm, and inexperience, for our terrible lack of judgment.
Once we had lowered ourselves into the tiny hole that served as the innate entranceway to this disguised rock vault, we set off scrambling through its often-constricting passageways. As we proceeded on our journey of discovery, this underground system of tunnels opened up and split off, providing us with multiple possible choices for choosing our route.
Yet, still underestimating the extent of this grotto, and believing there to be numerous entrances and exits awaiting us, we pushed ahead. Having ignored all the safety rules that would have been advantageous for us if we needed to return the way we had come, and having allowed ourselves to get twisted and turned around in the darkness, we became totally disoriented, lost in the dark dungeons of the cave and our ignorance.
With limited alternatives, we moved ahead as best we could, trying to preserve our inadequate supply of candles. Several hours later, without any food or provisions, and with the flame of our last candle all but extinguished, we were feeling the anguish of helplessness. No, we were downright scared!
When all appeared lost, we rounded a stone ledge and glimpsed a sight that raised our spirits. There was light shining down into the cave from above, and it was only just a little ways farther down through the cavern.
We moved quickly towards our ray of hope with anticipation.
However, as we approached the dazzling array of sunlight, our hearts sunk once again. The opening was at least twelve feet above us, and the light was beaming through the hole onto the reflective surface of a decent sized body of water. Even if we swam or waded through the freezing water, we still wouldn’t be able to escape our ever-increasing, distressing, predicament.
Trapped at the dead-end of our long chamber of confusing tunnels and passageways, totally exhausted and with our last candle snuffed out, we dejectedly sat back to contemplate our fate. Needless to say, with such limited options available to us, our only seemingly apparent move in this check-mate situation appeared to be to somehow find our way back through the cave’s maze in the now sinister darkness. Considering we hadn’t been able to maneuver this ostensible catacomb when we had the glow of our candlelight, this was certainly not an appealing prospect. The likely possibility of what could happen hung heavy on us. We could die.
As we struggled to pull ourselves together to undertake this genuine “stab in the dark,” a venture which had disaster written all over it, someone said they thought they heard voices.
We all got real quiet and listened. Suddenly, a rope ladder swung down from overhead.
It was hard to say who was more surprised; us or the spelunkers who were preparing to enter what they thought to be a desolate unexplored section of the underground caverns.
Although the sun was setting, and we were tired, hungry and had miles of hiking in front of us to return to where we left our car, our relief was palpable.
We had received assistance from an unexpected source, and been provided with the necessary directions to our destination. Sometimes, when you are in need, or trouble, that is the best you can hope for.
We had been given another opportunity at life, and we were extremely grateful.