While we were in Israel, we had some scary moments exploring dark tunnels. Some were dry and relatively benign. Some were pitch-black and full of water. In the first “tunnel tour” I wasn’t worried about much. Though inclosed, the walls where high, there was light inside, the ground was dry, and everyone was relatively calm. But when we reached Hezekiah’s tunnels, there was a moment you had to choose.
Were you going into the dark water system tunnel with a flashlight or the adjacent dry, well-lit tunnel with the rest of the group?
That decision was made a little more complex by the fact that there was a giant class of kindergartners entering the dark water tunnel just ahead of us. They were screaming and splashing all around. The male teacher who was bringing up the rear, had a lovely handgun slid in the side pocket of his jeans with the grip exposed out the top.
The 15-minute journey through the dry, lit tunnel, with enough room to walk upright?
Or the 25-minute treck through the pitch-black tunnel, with sections of water to the top of your thighs and only room enough to duck while walking?
Needless to say, our group split up.
The adventurer in me opted for the water tunnel as it’s the actual tunnel King Hezekiah’s men dug when they diverted the water (that story comes to life inside that tunnel!). But even for me, there were moments when my brain was trying to comprehend an emergency exit strategy. In one specific moment, the realization set in that if ANYTHING happened inside that tunnel, the chance for survival would be almost nil. There was no way out, except through. There were people crammed inside, “bumper to bumper” all the way from start to finish. It was pitch black except for our phone flashlights. I had to keep refocusing my mind on the fact that they (surely) wouldn’t allow people to cram in here if emergencies happened frequently. But mostly, I kept reminding myself that we had each other.
That no matter what, we were going to make it through to the other side.
I thought about Hezekiah’s men chiseling away in the darkness of the tunnel. As we passed sections that started to go off to the side, you could see that they’d made mistakes in direction. How exhausting and frightening that must have been. I am sure there were MANY moments they wanted to quit.
But they carried on, because they had each other, and because they were doing something bigger than themselves.
For some in our group, it was exhilarating, fascinating, and fun. For others, it was quite overwhelming and at times, even severely anxiety-provoking.
The holiday season can be a bit like that.
For some, it’s a joyful, happy season full of light, life, love, celebration, and connectedness. For others, it’s like looking down a long, dark tunnel full of water. Feeling all alone, trying to breathe deeply, just long enough to make it to the other side. It’s the time of year that elicits big feelings on polar opposite ends of the spectrum.
It’s worth remembering that you are not alone in the tunnel.
There are people in your life who love you deeply. People you love deeply.
This season is about so much more than all the magical moments created by fabricated consumerism that sometimes weigh us all down.
Stick with your people. Lean on your people. Love your people.
If you do, you’ll make it through to the other side with joy.
Your people are all that matter there.
to more love,
p.s. We’re hosting a party for you and your girlfriend people, this Thursday night. It’s not too late to join us. It’s exactly the kind of night you need to remind you you’re not alone in the tunnel. The kind of night to get you through this holiday season with more joy on the other side! Tickets are here: Holiday Ready GNO.