“The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going.” John 12:35b
I can certainly attest to that. Have you ever been in total darkness? I mean so dark that you can hold your hand directly in front of your face and not be able to see it? I have.
When I was a student at the seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, I worked for the Seminary security department. What else would a retired cop do, right? It helped pay my tuition. Anyway, I happened to be on patrol one evening when we were expecting a severe storm to hit the area.
During my patrol of the campus, I had to patrol the inside of the building that housed the School of Music. My plan was to start in the basement floor and work my way up the next two floors. There was an outside entrance to the basement and that’s the one I used.
From ground level, there was a flight of stairs down to the entrance way. As you entered the first set of doors, you were in a small area where you could leave your boots and wet coats; then there was another set of doors, which led into a large corridor.
The corridor ran north to south and was probably close to a hundred yards long. Running along either side of the corridor were doorways leading into the library, classrooms, meeting rooms, and several offices. It was after hours when I made my patrol so all of these doors were supposed to be locked. It was my job to walk the length of the building and make sure they were. At the far end of the corridor were two sets of double doors, which led into a large conference room and music room.
It was getting dark outside as I entered but the building was well-lighted. It took me probably less than ten minutes to reach the far end. I had walked along the east side checking all those doors and would return along the west side. Just as I reached the far end, while I was checking the doors to the music room, there was a loud clash of thunder; a bright flash of lightning and then; the lights went out.
For the first, and only, time in my life, I witnessed total darkness. When the lights went out, I was facing the south wall. I quickly turned around and nearly stumbled over my own feet. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Nothing! Absolute darkness!
I stood perfectly still with my back against the south wall. Since I was standing with my back against the wall, I knew that I was facing north, so I should have been able to see through the glass windows on the entrance doors. But there was nothing. All of the outside lights were out as well.
I thought, oh well, I just need to walk straight ahead; once I get outside, I should be able to see something.
I started moving forward, slowly; one foot in front of the other. In less than a minute, I walked into a wall. I was stunned; I could not believe it. And then I had to wonder: is this the east wall or the west wall?
I stood perfectly still and stretched my arms out to the side. There was nothing there. So, I had no idea where I was. That’s when I put my hand up and touched my face. Slowly, I moved my hand away and discovered that I could not see it. My hand was directly in front of my face ( I think ), but I could not see it.
I decided to use my radio to call in. I needed to let them know where I was. The radio did not work. I found out later that the lightning had struck the tower and the transformer.
Okay; I thought if I put my back against this wall and slide along, I should hit something. I should either wind up near the entrance way or back at the conference room wall. I decided to move left. I moved slowly; it was a little creepy. I started thinking about all those crazy Halloween movies. I was hoping to come upon one of the classroom doors because that would mean I was moving in the right direction; toward the front door.
I was so disoriented, I wasn’t even sure how much time had passed. I was moving slowly but I thought surely I should have reached one of the classroom doors by now. I heard a noise so I stopped. Then I heard a loud hum and suddenly the lights came on. The emergency generator had kicked on and I saw, but couldn’t believe, that I was still within four feet of the south wall and leaning against the east wall. I was going back toward the south wall. A quick look at my watch showed me that what had seemed like an hour had actually been less than five minutes.
I quickly moved along the west wall, checking the doors, and, with a deep sigh of relief, reached the exit and ran up the stairs. It was still dark on the outside so I went and sat in my patrol car. And As I sat there, it struck me how true those words from the Holy Scripture really are; “The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going.”
Jesus says in John 8:12 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness.” And He says in John 15:5… “…apart from Me you can do nothing.” You can’t even find your way down the corridor.
People all over this crazy world are stumbling around in darkness and don’t even know it. If you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are walking in darkness. If you are not following Him by reading His words and obeying them, you are walking in darkness.
So, come to the Light. As Peter says… “Repent and be baptized in the Name of Jesus…”
Oh Lord, my God, I pray in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth that You bless the person reading this with peace and grace; lead them out of the darkness and into the light and bless them abundantly. Amen