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How dark days become light(er)

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The sun takes all day to set. But in the darkest of nights it is busy rising.

A sentence that just popped into my mind, in the streetcar over the Erasmus Bridge, on the way to the center of Rotterdam. Funny how that works. That a thought spontaneously forms and forces itself upon you. And if you are not quick enough to write it down, it disappears just as quickly. Yet this thought did have some run-up; I had read a question from someone about what the best way to put things into perspective is in difficult times. That question had stuck with me. For I think we relativize too much, too easily and too quickly. Especially the difficult things in life. Sort of like a head-in-the-sand method. Pretending it's not important, or temporary. Or even more: wishing it wouldn't be there at all, as if it's not part of life. After all, life is supposed to be one happy psychedelic trip? We amuse us to death.

Now I am not talking about that evil and injustice are desirable, should have a free hand. They are given a right to exist because we allow them to exist and even regularly take advantage of them ourselves, but in no other way do they have a right to exist. I am talking in this blog about the way we deal with the consequences dealing with that evil and injustice.

We often think we can still live like in our college days where the only thing panting - occasionally - in our necks is our homework. But in the darkest hours, days, times, this helps me the most:   What you encounter along the way is part of life. So (live) it. And to live in the light AND the dark is where character is formed, relationships built and broken down, so on and so forth. Where happiness has a place but no seat. Then despite stress and work pressure and family life, late at night tiredly washing dishes can be a wonderful place to unwind and have conversations or give thoughts a place. To have to watch TV as soon as possible after dinner in order to experience a sense of relaxation is fooling yourself. First of all, watching TV does not relax well at all (google it, or read this), second, surely that is not what we mean by live life to the full? That is not friendship, love, parenting, fun, happiness? Only being able to relax when lying on the couch behind the TV is not living life to the fullest; but being behind (lying). Ready to be overwhelmed.

When it comes to relativizing the difficult things in life, I think we actually relativize the difficult things too much.

I believe that it is better to also undergo the difficult things, to experience them, to experience them. And find your way in it. And my experience is that you can find a wonderful strength in that. And the feeling that you are alive, more than the 'easy hours' worn out behind the TV. People sometimes say "that one has character," but character you don't have, character is formed. And it is shaped by the choices you make, especially the choices you make when it is difficult, when it matters. And don't let yourself get carried away on an ocean of feelings and consequences and consequences, but steer this by a will. And this can be practiced in very small things. You can replace the word 'should' with 'will'. What all is left for me to do to what else do I want done. From this should happen to this is important to me.

Musing about this early in the morning, like the sun, those first sentences came up: The sun takes all day to set. But in the darkest of nights it is busy rising. It is a metaphor for how God is in control and oversees things in a larger plan. Who carries me in his hand and does know where things are going, even though I can't see a hand in front of my own eyes. That gives a certain peace of mind and footing. But it also puts into perspective the daylight in which everything is easier and which you have not even considered until it starts to get dark. And you're desperate, anxious maybe, out of control. Then you miss that natural light, the warmth, a smile. But the sun is not to blame; it looks ahead. Dreaming of dawn. Is busy with its rise.


Erwin de Ruiter

"One man tries to express himself in books, another in boots; both are likely to fail." - G.K. Chesterton

2 thoughts on “Hoe donkere dagen licht(er) worden”

  1. ‘The brighter the light the darker the shadow’ Wellicht moeten we ze allebei waarderen om genoeg licht te ontvangen 😉 Je stuk doet me denken aan een plaats op aarde met heel weinig zonuren en veel sociale problemen. Alleen kan ik de plaats niet meer vinden via Google, hihi. Heb je nog genoeg memoblaadjes in je auto?

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