There is a subtle awareness in the night. The darkness around you does not sleep; it is awake, alert, sensing. It is alive to movement, and feels the changes in the air, the smell, the temperature. The trees are aware, and the bushes. The birds and small animals are aware, and they listen, hesitant, suspecting. Awareness of danger is an element of their being. It is like their breathing, like the blood in their veins, and one who lives much with the wilderness becomes so aware, too. Living with stillness, he detects sounds unheard by the casual passers-by, sees things they do not see, catches odors too faint for their nostrils. Half of woodcraft is attention, and all of survival.”
Hope my Coffee Perc friends don’t mind me using this from Louis L’Amour again. But it got me to pondering. One of the most common fears is that of being afraid of the dark. How many of you still sleep with the light on somewhere in your room, or maybe in the hallway? There is something about the darkness that is eerie, and for some terrifying.
Have you ever walked in the woods at night? The shadows almost come alive. The imagination can begin to work overtime and there may be panic. Very few stroll through the night hours. Then there is night in the city. That is another story altogether. Why do people want to stay up and out at night? Very few good things can come of it.
The night brings darkness. It may be physical darkness and there may be a darkness over the soul. The animals and vegetation have learned to live with the night. If you venture out at night the steps are usually slower, unless there is fear and then you may walk faster and with that you could step into danger, twist an ankle, fall flat on your face. Normally, the night is a time for man to rest, to be still so his body can recuperate from the activities of the day. But there are times to go out in the darkness. Jesus would get up early, while it was still dark, to go and pray. He understood what it was to walk in the night. God may even call your name in the night; are you listening? Or He may get you up and send you out into the dark of the night. He does this for various reasons but a few come to mind: to nurture the soul, to cleanse the soul, and to purify from imperfections.
No, it is not wise to hurry through the darkness. Take your steps carefully. Be aware of your surroundings as things look different in the darkness. Your survival may depend upon it. It is important that we remember that this world is “dark”. As we walk through the darkness of this world we are lights and we also have God’s Word to shine on our path.
“Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.”
–Psalm 119:105 (NLT)