Has the Light Gone Out?

Written By: Chris Mace

Has the Light Gone Out?
Sailing by Mark Island, Winter Harbor, Maine

I love watching sails slip by this old lighthouse and can easily romanticize its many stories as it sits on Mark island within rowing distance of Winter Harbor, Maine. Sadly, it is now a privately owned landmark and is no longer an active beacon warning, guiding or welcoming weary sailors and fishermen seeking safe harbor or home.

Like this lighthouse, many beacons which have guided our forebears and which our nation has cherished are losing their brilliance as history is denied or rewritten, as the Constitution is misconstrued, as the moral code is ignored or denied, as the common good is lost in greed and self interest, as social standards of respect and civility disappear into arrogant ignorance, as personal values disintegrate, as patriotism devolves into disgust for authority, and as faith in God has no daily, if any, pertinence.

I wonder about failing our younger generations as they race toward their finish line. Are we getting them to safe harbors and solid ground? Can we guide others through a world obsessed with self interest, greed, and sensuality, if we are prone to sacrifice integrity for expediency, influence, and greed and if we do not confront delusional thinking? Are we beacons guiding to good ends? Do we transmit inspiration and strong signals of hope in a society losing sight of what is good and healthy-a society lost and lonely in virtual worlds of social media’s bullying, sexualization, moral and identity confusion, self-interest, and violent games and distorted images; a society too numbed to realize that what it wants isn’t always best; a society too dishonest to face reality? Instead of raising flags of decency, civility, and the common good, we indulge in partisanship and what we want when we want it. And we are prone to shifting moral goal posts to accommodate our desires and thus define wrong as right despite the fact it is still unhealthy for our souls?

We are in this way over our heads and hearts without effective solutions for our base instincts and behaviors. Intellect, science, technology, philosophy, religions,and good effort have not solved our self-problem. Humbled by failure, we have to cede defeat and acknowledge we need outside help.

However, we are never without hope. The one light that darkness can never obliterate is Jesus. Darkness has tried and continues to try, but he is the Light of the world. His life, teaching, and saving work teaches us that life is about loving God above all else and our neighbors as ourselves. Because we are self-centered and self-serving by nature, we all miss those goals, lack righteousness, deserve condemnation, andd need redemption. Jesus took that condemnation, restores us to God, and brings us new meaning and purpose. He is the bight future.

He is The Light that never goes out.


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