“In a dark, dark world
On a dark, dark continent,
In a dark, dark country,
In a dark, dark town,
On a dark, dark street…”
When I was a kid, we used to sing-song this chant all the way down to a house, a room, a closet, a box, a smaller box… It was creepy-scary for the age I was at, full of suspense and not a little bit of fear but it would end in a bright light. And I felt better.
My default mode is to hide-away, to self-entertain and self-satisfy in many, many ways. “Isn’t fun the best thing to have?” (Name that movie). Taking my time, eating and drinking, sleeping, casually spending time and money, talking myself up, playing games, zoning out, enjoying in all comfort and leisure. There’s no rush or urgency, no need, no diligence or persistence. I just “go with the flow”, with pseudo-patience, ’cause “nothing really matters to me”. (Name that song.)
Sure, at times, I’ll have manic moods or moments of worry about the future, finances, and God (usually in that order). But they pass- tomorrow has never, never come.
But always, in the way, way back of my mind and heart, there’s a nagging and persistent sense (the 7th sense?) A sense that I’m missing something – like I’m forgetting something. Like there’s something more. Something extremely important. Like something that needed to be done yesterday. Like something someone told me recently and I just can’t remember who or what. But it’s very, very relevant. Something I knew – I know I knew – like the details of a bad dream with a happy ending – I just remember it was a happy ending, so why worry? YES, BUT there’s this foreboding, like the haunting, suspense-building chord of music fading in over an idyllic and peaceful, playful scene. Something someone doesn’t want me to remember, to think about, to act upon. Something wicked coming this way. Something very, very real.
I knew this chilling sense as a child. It was in the presence under my bed, the shape in the shadow in the corner of my room, the rattle (of bones?) from the dark, dark closet. And… it… keeps… creeping… back into my mind.
“They” tried to calm my fear, to convince me nothing was there, to keep me from worry. “All is well.” Here’s a shiny thing. Life, the dark, dark world, and the hearts of men are good. “Trust me. I’m here to help.”
But there was a look in their eyes they tried to hide. I saw it. At first I didn’t understand what it was. What it meant. But slowly, ever so slowly, it dawned on me, like the bright light I could see coming at the end of that dark, dark story. There was something they knew they didn’t know. Or knew they knew. I don’t know. But it was something they did not – would not – believe they believed.
I believe we’re all the same.
And we know.
We know we can be sure the dream, the nightmare ends well. We can trust that, without knowing how or why. We really, really don’t need to worry. We can be saved and be safe. Like watching the replay of last night’s game. We win!
BUT we have a part to play. Something very, very small, like flipping a switch or turning off the gas oven before we left the dark, dark house. Very urgent. Very, very necessary. Or else…
Oh, how we want to believe. To know without doubt. To speak what is hiding from me… on the tip of my tongue.
“If the spirit of God has stirred you, make as many of your decisions as possible irrevocable and let the consequences be what they will. Obey the light from your mountaintop experience, but put it into action.”
– Oswald Chambers
The night is almost finished. The day is almost here. …
prepare… FIGHT [now] evil with the weapons that belong [in]/to the light.
– Romans 12:13 ERV
But the day when the Lord comes again will surprise EVERYONE…
– 2 Peter 3:10 ERV