My husband and son recently rode through very long, cold, dark tunnels during a recent bike trip. When I heard about the mile long tunnels, my body tensed. My immediate thought, “I don’t think that I can ride through a tunnel that long. I’d feel trapped and claustrophobic.”
Well, they made the journey. No panic or bat attacks. Their tuned-up bikes and head flashlights made the ride enjoyable.
The pictures they took were pretty cool. I’m sharing them in this post. These specific tunnels were created to help cut through hills and terrain – making it easier for people to get from one side to the other side via train. No longer used for trains, these tunnels are part of a bike trail.
As I look at these pictures, I marvel at the visual symbolism of a tunnel.
In my life, entering seasons of hardship has been similar to stepping into a dark tunnel. I’ve stood at the opening of a hard season and was forced to move forward. The tragedies of child loss, severe parent illnesses and friendship endings took me from one reality to a new reality.
As I look at this picture above, I identify with it. There is only one reason that I could enter. And that’s the light at the end of the tunnel. The light is the one thing that would keep me calm and focused on moving forward.
Today, the light continues to call, “There’s a way out! Look straight ahead and keep your eyes on me. There’s an end to the darkness.”
Focusing on the light makes unpleasant journeys not as fearful or agonizing. As the light grows and gets closer, I can see more of my surroundings. And they aren’t so scary.
As a note: There’s something that I didn’t know about the structure of mile long tunnels both in the past and present. They are created with safety niches/shelters. Just in case a train is coming and workers are inside the tunnel, the niches serve as step outs. These spaces save many lives I’m sure.
I think about my safety niches along dark journeys – prayer, community of faithful family and friends who love me, hobbies, serving others, music, laughter, art, work, spiritual practices, etc. Each of these things protect me, rescue me and keep me moving forward.
With each step, as I get closer and closer to the end of the tunnel, the light gets brighter … and almost blinding.
Something new inside me grows. Hope.
Hope that there is an unexpected blessing or good change in me on its way.
For me, the light, on which my eyes are fixed, is a loving God. Trusting Him keeps me moving forward and not feeling overwhelmed with the darkness.
Thoughts to consider:
- What is a current tunnel in your life?
- Have you entered it willingly or unwillingly?
- What is your safety niche?
- What is the light on which you are fixed?
Wishing you peace as you focus on the light at the end of your tunnel.