photo by BRUNO SCRAMGMON
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.”
The wisdom of the ancients gifted us with beautiful prose which gives rise to joy, reflection, admonition, encouragement and fearlessness. We awaken each morning to a plethora of opportunities to chase and beauty to behold. It’s our choice how we will respond to the new day.
Some mornings we open our eyes and want to simply roll over and return to a comfortable slumber. Some mornings we awaken to an unexplainable soul darkness which we don’t want to entertain, but cannot shrug off. Carryover words from a contentious conversation yesterday which were not resolved. Mind-numbing news reporting which has led us to dwell upon mankind’s inhumanity to man. Personal challenges which require action in our new day. All can easily be denied by simply rolling over and snoozing for the rest of the day. We can deal with all those issues tomorrow. Or we can enter that dark valley and, trusting in the goodness of a kind Source, carry our inner lamps to light the way.
The valley of darkness is often translated as the ‘valley of the shadow of death’ in scriptures. In my younger days this was a mainstay of any Christian burial service. But, Psalm 23 goes on to indicate that, after passing through this dark journey, there is light, hope, goodness and mercy beyond. My head is anointed and my cup is overflowing. That journey of darkness shall be behind us as we enter onto the next plateau of brilliance.
Therefore, if your day, or mine, is clouded and dreary, embrace it, walk through it and know that there is a lesson to learn. Perhaps it is a necessary time of reflection and meditation, a time to recalibrate the inner soul workings, a time to inventory ‘what is’ in relation to what we want it to be. Don’t be afraid. Rest in the opening words of Psalm 23 – “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”
If you are conflicted today, if you are not seeing the rising sun on the horizon, take a few minutes to listen to Psalm 23 put to music. The ancients intended these words to be sung.