The Dark IS There - but the Light is Stronger!
You have to acknowledge the darkness. It is impossible to ignore. It's presence is obvious and it seems to exist everywhere. I've always liked this quote, "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn't exist," because it is so profound. It applies to so many cultures, so much of the cliches of good vs evil, and of course in the world around us. Denying a problem's existence, especially when it is there and has power to impact whatever or whoever the problem effects, gives that problem the aptitude to feed...to grow.
This is so evident in our current situations. I wanted to take a moment to just point out a couple of examples.
First of all - Racism...
A friend of mine, of a different race, has reminded me that it's important that we acknowledge that this still exists, and I agree. It exists, and it is in many ways becoming more prevalent because we continue to try to deny its existence. Just because African American people, Hispanic people, Asian people, and even Native Americans have more opportunities now than they ever had in the past does not mean racism doesn't exist. Take any fellow man or woman, and if they are honest, they can tell you some gripe they use to generalize different members of a different race. Say what you want, but you are just in denial if you have never once even thought or heard of these generalizations. The catch is what we do with our knowledge of such generalizations. The popular thing in the media, seemingly done intentionally to divide us, is taking those generalizations, such as cops are against blacks...or black guys are criminals...or Hispanics are illegal...or - and focusing on the bad apples in those specific cultures that make it seem true. Racism in its mildest form, minor social biases, when denied - can result in the riots and the mayhem we are seeing happen in our cities today. But those things come about when we focus on the racism, and not on seeking peace.
See - we can acknowledge the racism or biases are there, but focus on positive and peaceful solutions to problems, instead of just focusing on the darkness.
Second - Power, or Corruption...
Our government is full of people addicted to this power. And anyone who becomes addicted to power becomes corrupt. Since there are so many men and women in our political system who have such influence over what happens in this country - and what has happened over the past twenty years or more because of lack of term limits- it is safe to say they have become corrupt. Look at Hillary Clinton. Whether she intentionally kept the public knowing about emails and what were contained in them or not, the fact remains that even the FBI stated that her handling of the entire situation was careless. And the standard to which she is held? Well, let's just say there are people within the government, but lower on the totem pole, who did far less yet suffered far more already. This is corrupt. This is the result of too much power. This is the result of already powerful people boosting up other powerful allies for the mere purpose of even more personal gain. The fact that there are so many people still supporting Hillary despite this fact shows that we are once again denying the existence of that evil. Hmmm...wonder what will happen if we continue to deny this corruption.
I can tell you; it won't be pretty. Every great nation and powerful empire or super power has fallen, and its ultimate end came about because the elite became too addicted to power, and someone came in and brought them down to their knees because of it, whether it was another powerful empire, or the collective people.
And now the big one - Islam...
While the chief end of Islam is peace, the means by which that peace is achieved is domination and submission. I have been reading the Quran, and although there is much talk of peace, how is it peace if one is forced to believe something they do not want to believe? The Quran teaches that one who believes in Allah but then turns away from that belief should be killed. It is right there in black and white in too many Suras and Ayahs to count, worded in as many ways as Muhammad's clerics could word it, time and time again: apostates must be killed. It also plainly states that all infidels who refuse to believe in the first place are to pay a tax. And if the infidels refuse to pay the tax...I will give you one guess as to what is supposed to happen to them. Does this sound like a religion of peace? If Islam were to have some kind of reform in the tenets that still teach these concepts, they could coexist like the bumper sticker says. But FORCED peace is no way to coexist with any other religion. Of course it stands to reason that if we all believe the same thing, we can coexist. But that is impossible without divine intervention. It doesn't matter how many people ISIS and others put to the sword...you cannot truly change the heart by force. Yet that is how some Islamic groups are justifying their violence. And the fact that powers that be still don't want to acknowledge that ideology behind these terrorists is perhaps the ultimate example of power and corruption.
So what does all this darkness mean? Is there any hope? Of course there is, but just like we don't want to focus on the negative, we can't JUST FOCUS on the positive without the acknowledgement of the other. But the positive forces are evident, and if you know where to look, you can realize that one of the most powerful forces in existence is stronger than all of that darkness combined.
What happens in a pitch black room if a single candle is lit? The light from that small candle can fill the whole room, even if it is dim at the walls. What happens in a storm when a ship is tossed about at sea and loses its bearings? They see the long beam of light from a lighthouse, breaking through the chaos of the storm. Despite the fact that darkness can outmatch light in actual mass, light still ALWAYS overtakes the darkness. The only way darkness defeats light is to put the light out...and THAT is what God will not allow to happen. It is what God has not allowed to happen. Evidence is all around us.
Think about the unconditional love you have for that one person who lives with you; who you would walk through fire for; who you would take a bullet for; who you would give your life for. That is love. Think of that person you hate to be apart from; that person who you can't wait to come back from a trip; that person who makes you feel better every time they are around; that person who makes you feel complete. That is love. Think about that friend who you would trust with your deepest secrets; who you would want to fight at your side; who you would want to look after things if something were to happen to you. That is also love. And God is love. And God is the light.
Think about the times you've seen someone give a buck or two to the homeless, or that old veteran standing out in the median. Think about the times you've seen a person make a video about going up to random people, as many people as he can, and giving them a hug. Think about the many animal advocates out there who run pet rescues for those pets that get abandoned or abused. Think about the times you have seen a stranger tell someone else like a teacher, or a fireman, or a police officer - "Thank you for what you do." That is kindness. Couldn't we all use a little more of that? I have seen it. It still exists.
Think about the times that two fighters go blow for blow, kick for kick in front of an audience, but then when the fight is over, the loser holds up the winner's hand - pointing to the winner with a toothless grin. I know, a little violent example...but, still. Think of the criminal in the back seat of the patrol car, apologizing for fighting the officer or causing trouble who arrested him before he gets to the jail. Sounds like fiction, right? Well it's not - and it has happened to me more times than I can count. Think about the times, though rare, when two people from different countries, come together and sign an agreement and put away their armies or soldiers - for a time. Though temporary instances, all of these are examples of peace. But only true peace can come if it is permanent, and people cannot be the ones to bring that eternal peace about. Only the Light of the World can do that.
I have said in the past pay attention to your surroundings because evil lurks about. I was definitely acknowledging that evil exists. But let's go a step further, especially these days. Pay attention to your surroundings, and look for signs of light. It really is all around us, but just like acknowledging the darkness, we must acknowledge the light. If we do not acknowledge it, and especially if we don't find out the truth behind that light individually, then for us that light is put out. And THAT is the ONLY way darkness wins.