Overcoming the Darkness

One of my favorite Broadway musicals is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. One of the most popular songs in the play is “The Music of the Night.” The lyrics reveal that under the cover of darkness, a person can easily live as if the truth is whatever he wants it to be. It is only the light that reveals what is true and what is real.

Think about how the darkness also has the ability to disorient you. I can think of several times when my wife and I have been traveling and spending the night in a hotel. I get up and go to the restroom in the middle of the night. As I make my way back to my side of the bed in the pitch black darkness, I find myself running into furniture and unable to find my way. To find yourself disoriented in the dark is a frightening feeling.

The Bible speaks of people living in spiritual darkness. Jesus says the person who walks in darkness does not have any idea where he is going (John 12:35). We are told that those in spiritual darkness stumble through life and do not understand what they are stumbling over (Proverbs 4:19). In our work here at The Center we find so many men who are struggling with life and cannot understand why things are going so badly. They do not realize they are walking in spiritual darkness.

In John 1:9 we are told that Jesus came into the world as the true light for the purpose of enlightening every man and woman. Jesus Himself even declares “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12) Notice He did not say He was one of many lights in the world but “the light.”

In the physical world, there are three things necessary for us to see. You have to have an object to look at, you have to have eyes to see, and you have to have light. You cannot see in the darkness.

This is also true in the spiritual world. There first must be an object which is spiritual truth and spiritual laws and principles. You have to have the ability to perceive and understand, and for this reason we have been given a mind that can think and reason. Finally, we have to have light and as Jesus Himself put it, “I am that light.” C.S. Lewis clearly understood that Christianity makes sense of the world and that light is an appropriate metaphor that reveals what is real, what is true, what is rational and what is good. In one of his most famous quotes he says, “I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

Richard E Simmons III is the founder and Executive Director of The Center for Executive Leadership and a best-selling author.