Troubled times are those we live in when small things take so much importance in our lives. The crave for possessions, the yearning of being famous, all sorts of things that consume our humanity come from within just keep their breath on.
It’s a fact, darkness dwells inside of us all. The natural tendency to fall into sin lead us to do unspeakable things. In fact, that natural tendency has been minimized by philosophers and liberal theologians, alleging that moral relativism asserts that what is evil to some, might not be to others. Atheists consider it a part of animal behavior that mankind possesses. It is a small shard in the heart of sound doctrine, that creates a blooming infection of the whole system.
As Boromir from The Lord of the Rings said: “It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing… such a little thing“. Sin starts with a little thing. A pitiful lie, a small angry root, a glimpse of sexual lust for what is not ours… So many little things, so small, so feeble before the might of mankind and Christianity. Yet, so capable of getting all together and become master and dominance in our lives.
So this darkness, this Cthulhu awakening, the Kraken of the post-modern days comes not from fairy tales or folklore, but from our inside. All of us fell short before God and deserve to die on the cross for our continuous sinning (Romans 3:23, 6:23). We are not to be punished by Adam’s fault, but we have inherited the consequences of that in our DNA and the cosmos suffers from that error as well. Where once was undoubted unity, sin came crashing in and turn that into a forceful separation. A rupture that needed a rapture operated by Christ on the Golgotha.
“With the fall of Adam, both humanity and the entire cosmos were affected. Illness, therefore, is not the root problem, but only a symptom. The far more significant consequence of the fall was the rupture of the communion between God and humanity, between humans among themselves, and between humanity and the rest of creation. For Christians, sickness and death are not the real problems: rather, it is alienation from God, and the resulting spiritual death, which are the real tragedy.” (Paul Meyendorff, THE ANOINTING OF THE SICK, p 84)
As put by the Orthodox theologian, Fr. Ted Bobosh:
“The fall did not simply lead man into a biological form of life. It encompassed the whole of his psychosomatic being which, once turned from its intended state, submitted itself to instincts that led to the realm of the passions. Carnal pleasure for the body is equivalent to avarice for the spirit, all of which leads a person to be disconnected and lacking in harmony; it shatters his original unity.”
So, what to do? Repent and submit. There is no other way around. To repent is to recognize the fault state we are in, showing a convict desire for change, like the Apostle Peter spoke in Acts 2:38. That leads us to a full confrontation with God’s grace and glory, that makes feel like Job (Job 42:6) or Isaiah (Isaiah 6:5). Once there, the light of the Sun of Righteousness shines on us, removing all darkness from within (Malachi 4:2), doing that by His own merits and unpaid favor based in His love towards us (Ephesians 2:8,9).
The darkness simply vanishes, hence comes light. So we are then called to be like the Apostle Paul (1st Corinthians 11:1), imitator of Christ, the Light of men (John 1:4). Dissipating darkness makes it go away from us, but the threatening shadows still try to entangle us all. In his work “Praying Always”, the Dutch theologian Frans Bakker makes us acquainted with this feeling:
“The Lord sometimes causes the consequences of sin to remain, even though forgiveness has been granted. Thus he keeps his people humble. A bitter aftertaste is left so that a sinful past will not be forgotten.” (Praying Always, Banner of Truth 1984, p.92)
Nevertheless, even the bitter aftertaste can be tasted through the might and power of Jesus. When we endure this kind of fights, we must remember that temptation knocks on our door, just like it did with Cain. Darkness still wants out of the abyss and like Nietzsche proclaimed: “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you“. Our fight is a life lasting fight against what rots us from the core, our most and deepest lying hurting secrets, our own tainted will. Because sin even defeated at the Cross, still manages to come and plot against us, to deviate us from the Way.
“Memory is not what the heart desires. That is only a mirror“, wrote J.R.R. Tolkien, so it is darkness on the contrary. Our hearts may desire goodness, but instead, commit a fault for darkness dwells around us. The Orthodox priest Michel Quenot once taught that: “Man was not created for death and finality, but for immortality and eternity“. In eternity, no darkness shall prevail. In life, no darkness can abide where the Light of the World, the highest beacon of hope and love stands His ground: inside the heart of men.