As I left Shannon's house, her mom asked, as always, "Are you sure you'll be alright?"
"Yes, yes," I reply. "I'm used to walking in the dark." It has been a very long time since I have minded walking alone in the dark. (Ever since Justin, Nathan, and Peter stopped hiding in the jungle and popping out at us girls on our way over to visit with them to be exact.) Not to mention, tonight the moon was especially bright; even for Saipan.
Actually, I kind of like to walk in the dark. As Louis Armstrong put it in What A Wonderful World, "The bright, blessed day; And the dark, sacred night." Night does seem sacred to me. It's so peaceful and quiet; I love to just walk along the road or in the fields and think.
Tonight I thought about something that my very dear friend Leimson Souelian said. It was at a Youth Conference about two years ago. We were hiking to Boy Scout Beach in the dark, where Brother Benson awaited to give us a fireside. The first part of the hike was along a fairly straight path. We all gathered at the beginning of the path, and then walked one-by-one down it in the dark until we reached the other end, where someone with more flashlights would send us off in groups down the more treacherous part... and treacherous is used loosely, it really isn't that bad. (But ya know, in the dark!) At the fireside, Leim was asked what his experience was on the path. (NOTE: The following is not at all word perfect of course, but my recollection of what the story was is very clear.) He said the following:
"I started out on the path, not wanting to face the complete darkness of the jungle alone. Instead of simply looking straight ahead, I continued forward cautiously, the entire time looking over my shoulder at the flashlight my friends held behind me. As long as I looked at the flashlight, I felt comfortable. Finally, the flashlight faded completely and I turned to face the impending darkness. No sooner had I turned my head however, than I saw the flashlight marking the other end. Once again I was comforted and knew that the path through the dark shadows of the trees was coming to an end."
The story is simple, but as I was thinking about it, the concept hit me very hard. The Lord will not leave us in darkness, but we have to have the faith to turn our heads forward. Only then will we be able to see the light that He has been shining on our path.