December 31, 2008
In the Dark
by Katherine Britton, Crosswalk.com News & Culture Editor
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”
– Isaiah 43:1
I carried my fear of the dark with me from childhood. No, seriously, don’t laugh. At night, I still will not walk from one room to another without switching on lights en route. And romantic walks in the moonlight? Well, that’s one for the movies and I’ll do without it.
I found myself psychoanalyzing this childlike fear again last night, after watching a particularly dark movie. I think I blame it partially on an overactive imagination that never shut off, partially on my mind’s frustrating habit of recalling frightening images at the wrong times, and mostly on my general dislike of uncertainty. I simply don’t like being able to see – and thereby know – exactly what is going on.
Because of that fear, I find it slightly ironic that I will ring in the New Year by walking from musical show to show in the semi-dark of Williamsburg’s “First Night” celebration. Any of my fears for the future are also tied to uncertainty, and on New Year’s Eve I am especially aware of how little surety I have for 2009. After all, the economy means budget cuts for the school system where my husband works, placing higher importance on my own job situation. Then what if somebody gets in a car wreck? What if kids come into that picture? What if? What if? And just like that, I’m groping in the dark for something solid.
Human minds seem hardwired to remember the bad and forget the good. After all, some wonderful things happened in 2008 – why don’t those come to mind when I stand on the edge of a new year or a dark room?
A couple weeks ago I wrote on the need for a bigger Christmas. Today, as I say “au revoir” to 2009, I remind myself that that night in the stable extends its power through all time and all uncertainty. Christ’s coming is big enough to encompass my last year, my next year, and every year in my future. He commands me to “fear not,” because he knows my every need and guides my every footstep. I can’t run into darkness deep enough or a future murky enough that he does not know. What more certainty do I need?
Intersecting Faith & Life: Perhaps you do this every year – it’s certainly worth repeating. Whether for the first time or the seventieth time, take a moment to consider what this past year held for you, and what you hope to accomplish this coming year (aka, write some resolutions!). Now, read that first list, and laugh a little at the surprises the Lord brought you through. Now look at your second list, the one for this coming year. I pray that you will rejoice and rest in knowing that God will always have plans that are bigger than anything we can dream. And that is for certain.