Mondays are my day off, so yesterday afternoon my seven year old and I decided to go with some friends on a local cave tour. My daughter had never been in a cave so I wanted her to see the stalagtites, stalactites, and hopefully, some mutant, radioactive, cave-dwelling bats. (my hope…not hers) By the way, stalactites have a “c” in them, so they come down from the ceiling. Stalagmites have a “g” in them, so the come up from the ground. I learned that from a six year old on the tour…you’re welcome. :-)
At one point the guide stopped us to demonstrate “absolute darkness”. If you’ve ever been in a cave you know what I’m talking about. It’s the big highlight, or “low light” of every cave tour.
When the lights go out in a cave its DARK…Completely dark. You literally can’t see your hand waving two inches in front of your face. For a few minutes you experience what it must be like to be sightless. Sixty seconds seems like a very long time in absolute darkness.
The guide said something before the darkness demonstration that stuck with me. Before turning out the lights he said “When the lights go out, avoid the impulse to panic and run off by yourself. That’s how people get hurt. They walk into walls, they crack their heads on stalactites. Don’t Panic. Stand still and wait for the lights to come back on. Hold someone’s hand if you can”.
As I stood there with my daughter squeezing my hand as tightly as she could, I couldn’t help but think that those words are good advice for all of us when we are in a dark situation. Those words are great advice for all of us when our lives turn into a “darkness demonstration”, and there seems to be no hope of anything ever being “right” again. When things are darkest, I think we need to follow the words of the cave tour guide:
Don’t run off and hurt yourself.
Wait for the light to return.
Hold someones hand if possible.
I can’t think of a better reason to have a church like actionchurch…