UPDATED POST. My family and I made the Eclipse Pilgimmage to Rexburg, Idaho to witness this unique event. I’m sure our experience was similar to many who travelled from far and wide to watch it happen.
It was fascinating for me to watch my children and the folks around me as we waited for the eclipse happen. Our anticipation grew more excitedly as we watched the sun get blocked more and more. As the peak neared by just a few more seconds, we called the kids to keep watching… until…. until…Darkness everywhere. The temperature dropped. And gasps of astonishment filled the air.
And then the kids clapped, ooh-ed and aaah-ed and spoke excitedly about what was happening. This is neat! This is awesome! Wow! That trip was worth it! This is amazing!
Before the eclipse, we couldn’t even look at the sun with our regular eyes. We needed help with those glasses. But, during the eclipse, we could look at the sun with our eyes…even for just a bit. We could see the totality under normal vision. Even my cameras could handle it without the filters. The videos and pictures I took of the totality were amazing, too!
After 2 minutes, the sun began to peek out from behind. That had some cool shots, too! Just a little sliver of sun brightened up everything again. Can you imagine? Just a little sliver of sunlight, and the whole place lights up again! That was all you needed…a little sliver of sun for the darkness to leave; warmth started to return. I took a few more pictures as the un-eclipsing happened, but — I have to admit — it wasn’t as exciting as the prior anticipation. Everyone just packed up and started to leave even though the sun hadn’t finished showing up. The sun was pretty much forgotten after that.
Parallels to Consider
After having said all that, there’s gotta be some symbolic Christian parallels here…so, whether or not you agree, here’s a few:
The Irony of Culture
Do we wait with eager, excited anticipation (‘bated breath?) for Darkness to spread across the land? When Darkness spreads across the land, do we all clap with amazement and cheer? When the something blocks our view of the Son (of God), do we wonder with astonishment, call the event “Epic!”, and become excited? When Darkness falls upon us, and lingers more than usual, was it worth it getting there….even if it means it’s a once in a lifetime experience…because…well, #YOLO.
Have you ever considered that Satan does not try to take away the Light from us? Rather his intent, and work, is to keep us from Seeing and Experiencing the Light. He’ll do this by clouding our view of the light (like a fog) with Distractions, muddled Truth, and plain outright info-overload. He’ll do it by blocking our view of the Light with anything…just to keep us from seeing the True Light. Replace the True Light with Artificial Light, an alternate Light, or any kind of obstruction: trials, worldly praise, successes, hobbies, despair, power, money, abuse, frustration, anger,…anything. His other option is to try to Remove the source of the Light altogether (like snuffing out a candle)…but He can’t do that with the Son, no matter how hard he tries. He tried crucifixion. He tried character assassination. Didn’t work; the Son still shines through anyway! So, because he can’t fight the Son…he focuses on us instead to try to blind us from seeing the Son. Satan’s the ultimate Eclipse at work….and he’ll try to get us to be the eclipse to someone else, too, by getting us to divert others’ attention to ourselves…instead of onto the Son.
Waiting for the Return
Do we wait, with as much eager, un-hyped anticipation, for the return of the Son? Or do we kinda get caught off-guard and realize, “Oh wow, the Son is coming back, get ready again to see it!” Do we see the return of the Son as something uneventful, something that…because He’s always there everyday…and we’ve kinda come to expect it…and never really realize, nor recognize, how He’s truly around us everyday…because we choose not to pay attention to it…until Darkness comes during uncommon moments?
It Doesn’t Take Much
Do we ever realize just how much warmth comes back when we experience even just a sliver of the Son? Do we realize just how much Light returns to our lives when we experience just a sliver of the Son’s light? How much more Light and Warmth and Clarity can we experience the more we allow the Son to return to our lives?
Have you ever considered that, instead of being a type of eclipse to others, we could be that Sliver of Son for someone else, anywhere we are? It doesn’t take much goodness in us in order to make people and your surroundings a brighter, happier, more enjoyable place to be in. The key is to emulate what Christ would do in any situation…no matter how dark, how despondent, how bleak, how hopeless, how difficult, how tiring, how boring and unenlightening and despairing…and whatever else isn’t joyous, or truthful, or uplifting. All it takes is a sliiver of the Son’s Light…and everything brightens up again!
Sliver of sun just as moon moves out of the way
We can be that sliver of Son to someone else…couldn’t we?
3 Nephi 18:24 – Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I [Jesus Christ] am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do.
When Darkness is all around you, in the Media, in Education, in Ethics and Culture, in Governments and Society, in Psychological Biases…when Great Darkness comes upon our minds such that we can’t tell anymore…When that Darkness comes, but markets itself to be something wonderful instead…do we notice just how obvious the Light has disappeared? When Light is completely gone from someone’s life, or to a people, or to a nation…does it immediately happen, or is it a gradual thing?
You can tell when it’s really gone, when someone’s countenance and heart has gone dark. It’s easy to see. But what’s harder to discern is when the Light is slowly being eaten away. You need to watch closely for when it’s happening. We can’t prevent natural eclipses from happening…but we can prevent them from happening in ourselves, and help others prevent it from happening in their hearts and lives.
Perspective from a Different View
Did you ever realize that the “glory” of Darkness can be seen, observered, beheld with normal, natural eyes…while the “glory” of the Son needs additional help for us to be able to even withstand seeing it?
Just as it’s difficult to see with our natural eyes the glory of the sun, it may take a bit of humility in our heart’s eyes to see the “glory” of the Son. By glory, I mean these: His works, His influence, His teachings, His companionship, His wisdom, His goodness, His graciousness, His love for us, and His ability to help us become who He knows we are…and then be better than that. Sometimes, we can’t see that…and we need help seeing it.
Let us be humble in seeing the Son in our lives, for He is ever present, ever working, ever helping us, even when the clouds of despair, the fog of doubt, the eclipses of worldliness and vanity muddle our view of Him. We just never really take the time to notice it…until His light is obscured, blurred, or just plain removed from our lives. Only then do we realize how much we’ve really needed Him. Let’s not wait for Darkness and Coldness to come upon us to realize that.
Rather…let us live in the Light of the Son…with open eyes, grateful hearts, and a desire to be even just a sliver of His Light to others at all times, in all things, in all places we may be in. Let us do what He does, what we have seen Him do…and we will not be surprised and caught off-guard when the Son returns….but we’ll be ready to greet Him with open arms.