The darkest hour


Mostly I never see the darkest hour.  Usually I am sleeping soundly.  But there are times when I am not.  And sometimes that darkest hour can be a few seconds, and sometimes a few hours.  The “I can’t sleep” darkest hour.  The “Why is my life so crap” darkest hour. The “Why Me” darkest hour. That hour of self-pity.

“Now the disciples had forgotten to bring any bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out – beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” They said to one another, “It is because we have no bread.” And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand?” Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?’ They said to him, ‘Twelve.’And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?’ And they said to him, ‘Seven.’ Then he said to them, ‘Do you not yet understand?’ Mark 8:14-21

I read somewhere that only human beings allow self-pity.  Have a “What About Me” capacity.  All other species live and die, sleep and wake, feed or don’t feed, procreate or not.  If they have a darkest hour I guess it is pragmatic and completely unlike our darkest hour.

Just as I think the bible offers many opportunities for darkest hours.  Like the twelve guys in these verses: “Bread with breakfast, with lunch, with dinner – a meal without bread is no meal at all.  And never mind the miracles, the crowds, the teaching, the healing, the interest from Jerusalem Head Office – a meal without bread is no meal at all!”

Isn’t that what the “darkest hour” is all about … ?

No matter all the good things in my life, my week, my day, and my day to come – it is that moment in the middle of the night – that (short) absence of sleep – that fraction of isolation and aloneness.  No one to talk to – no light to see by – no connection with the goodness of much at all.  Just me and self-pity – just me and my darkest hour.

Then he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”

I think I often don’t.  I often wallow in that trait of self-pity:  I live and worry and bemoan and regret.  I feed and worry and bemoan and regret.  I procreate and worry and bemoan and regret . I lie awake for a short period and worry and bemoan and regret.

Then he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”

Just as I lie awake on Christmas Eve … the night before we go on holiday … the night before a child’s wedding … the night before a grandchild’s special something … before an exam … after an exam … during exams … during heavy work periods … during very happy living periods … during very unhappy living periods.

My darkest hour is only my darkest hour when I feel sorry for myself.  And that changes nothing.  Except me.

I get up tired.  I wake convinced I am owed something.  Convinced that living owes me something.  That you owe me something.  That anything and everything is “so not fair”.

That one short moment in time changes me because I allowed.  Just as I allowed the  excitement of Christmas Eve – the worry of exams – and the “non-specific despair” of not sleeping as I need to – I allowed my darkest hour..

Then he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”

I don’t get those who dismiss the bible – who dismiss prayer – who see only bad in both – who look for only bad in both.

Whether I have a faith or not – both are bloody good “personal coaching” and “self-improvement”.  If I allow.  So I do.

So I allow love. And I allow light. I seek “bloody good”.

I think it a better way to live.

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8 thoughts on “The darkest hour

  1. Good post, Paul. Those darkest hours are tricky and unpredictable and sometimes we come out of them and we don’t understand. But then I always say if God wants me to understand go tell me. If he doesn’t then it must not be important. And I go on.

    Be blessed

    Liked by 1 person

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