"In Light of Darkness"

Posted on
5 Jan 2015
by Robert Alston

"I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars."-Og Mandino

With a fresh cup of classic roast Folgers and a few sugar cookies I am officially ready to write my first ever blog. Although I am more of a morning person, I prefer to write my thoughts late at night before my dreams take over. With a sleeping wife and a twitching dog a few feet away from me, I find the quiet atmosphere perfect for clarity between my mind and my pen.

Looking out of our 10 foot window I am enamored by the ocean of starlights flooding the night sky. Their vast array of sizes and strengths can only be witnessed when nightfall comes. In the middle of my admiration of the lights I reminded of a tip from nature, darkness is necessary to truly appreciate the light.

Did you know that you have the power to look into the past? Don't believe me? I can prove it to you right now if you follow this simple test. Go to your nearest window or step outside of your warm home and look at the sky. Just like that, you have looked into the past.

You see, light from the moon takes 1.3 seconds to reach your eyes. That means that when you look at the moon you are not looking at its present state but how it looked 1.3 seconds ago. Light from the sun: 8 minutes, light from Pluto: 5.5 hours. As for the stars, the nearest star shot forth the light you currently see 4.3 years ago. How young were you when this star mailed you a picture of itself? The farthest star seen with an unaided eye (no telescope) is named Deneb. Deneb sent its light to you 3,000 years ago. The photons you are currently viewing were directed towards your eyes 1,000 years before Jesus Christ visited earth in the form of a man.

Just as darkness allows you to appreciate the star arrangement, darkness also allows you to appreciate the things and people you hold dear to your heart. This past year may have been littered with dark times for you but those moments can be used to appreciate the true stars of your life. Before you make your new year's resolution I challenge you to consider this advice received from the heavens:

Use darkness to appreciate the light.

You may have lost a loved one in 2014 and it was devastating to you. If so, use this tragedy to focus your kind energy on those loved ones whose lights are still shining. This past year may not have brought the change in pounds around your waist you were so desperately hoping for. Instead of hiding in defeat, learn from the lessons that did not work and try again in a new way. "Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail."-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Though darkness is inevitable, navigate using the lights of your life.

Just as nightfall is guaranteed (unless you are in Alaska), dark times are sure to come in 2015. I am not speaking negativity into your life, instead I am speaking with love. If this statement were not true, try to think of a year you lived when everything that occurred in your life was good. Although dark times are inevitable, use the light of your stars to guide you during these times. I am not sure what your lights may be, "But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."-Joshua 24:15

The sun will always come to your rescue.

Just as it is certain that bad times are inevitable, it is also certain that good times will always come. For most people their good days far outnumber their bad days during a given year. While sitting in darkness be sure to surround yourself with those that bring you joy and happiness. "People are like stained - glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within."-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Looking through my window at the stars again I can't help but notice Orion's Belt which is a 3 star asterism in the constellation of Orion. Their pattern consists of 3 stars more or less evenly spaced in a straight line. Since 2005 my wife and I have always visualized these stars as symbols of our 3 kids who will be with us sometime in the near future. I can't help but sip my slightly warm coffee and smile at them. I know that one day they will be down here with us, but as for now I will admire them every time the darkness arrives.

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