My family recently visited the Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel near Shenandoah National Park. Originally constructed as a train tunnel in the 1850s, the tunnel went defunct near the end of WWII (1944) when a newer tunnel was built close by to take it’s place. The old tunnel was left unused for some time, until just last year, when a 20-year construction project was completed to convert the tunnel into a hiking/biking path.Why did it take so long? Well, one unique feature about the tunnel is it’s length. At almost a mile long, the tunnel was the longest train tunnel in the United States when it was built. To restore such a long tunnel certainly takes a lot of time.
But another neat feature arises from that same detail: when you have such a long tunnel (which is still unlit, by the way), the effect of the “light at the end of the tunnel” is extremely captivating. Because it was left unlit, hikers and bikers must bring their own flashlights/headlamps. The tunnel is a straight line. So when you enter the long, dark tunnel, you can still see the light at the end – and it is a tiny dot of light.
This tiny dot of light serves as a sort of North Star for you as you march through the tunnel. Flashlights help, of course, but your mind and soul is drawn to that little dot at the end. It is the natural reminder that the tunnel and the darkness is not forever. If you press on in that direction, no matter how dark it feels in the moment, the light is there. And it slowly gets bigger and bigger.
See where I’m going with this? The past 12 months have been a long dark tunnel for our collective human existence. But the light at the end is there. We can see glimmers of it. And it is getting bigger and bigger each day. I believe the Lord is our light and our hope as we go through this darkness. May his light continually shine over you and through you today and everyday.
Dr. Jesse Joyner travels nationwide as a speaker and entertainer. His primary role is that of a performing juggler spreading joy and the love of learning to family and kids events. H earned his PhD in Educational Studies at Trinity International University (Deerfield, IL). He enjoys playing the piano, bird watching, and old houses. He lives in Richmond, VA with his wife, Sarah, and their three kids - the perfect number for juggling children.
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