Obie-Wan Kenobi once described the Light Sabre as an elegant weapon. We might add: Especially when it is energized by just the right combination of physical light, intellectual insight, and Spirit luminosity. In the Gospel According to Matthew, the author wrote: If the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! I’ve come to believe the triune energy complement of the high precision metaphorical Light Sabre is the best way to pierce the darkness within the minds and hearts of those in perpetual slumber.
Most of us thrive in light. We lay on the beach absorbing it. Those of us with a true love of learning, search continuously for more forms of enlightenment. And then there are some of us who habitually avoid the light. I was one of those. In 1969 I was scanning the FM radio dial and heard a sound that resonated with me. It was like electric bagpipes but somehow more pleasing. The band was singing “Darkness, darkness, be my blanket – Cover me with the endless night – Take away, take away the pain of knowing – Fill the emptiness of right now.” Within weeks I had an after school job at that radio station.
I am convinced that every step along the way in this little journey was guided by the choreography of the Spirit. I went from scanning the FM dial, through the appealing music, to a job at that very radio station. After finishing my all night show one morning, my boss walked into the studio and told me “The Youngbloods are coming into town tonight and we’re going to broadcast them live. It’s going to be Washington DC’s first live quad-cast. And oh, by the way, because we don’t have a quadraphonic audio board, you will have to build it.”
Now if you think I was going to build it,and then let somebody else run it, think again. Especially when no one at the station had a greater affinity for the sound of that particular band than me. Twenty-four hours without sleep, no problem. A steady diet of meatball subs and caffeine, no problem. Being eighteen years old, and doing the mix for my favorite band, definitely no problem. I was just inches from one side of the glass facing the guys that were inches from the other side of the glass facing me. If I wanted to hear more of Banana’s bass or Earthquake’s harmonica, I just twisted the knob to make the music fit my ear. I really loved that job.
The next day, The Youngbloods played an outdoor concert on P-Street Beach in Washington, DC. Jesse was writing songs that meet people where they live, to take them someplace far, far higher. I will never forget how after the he loaded the truck with all the band’s equipment by himself, without complaining. He did this while the rest of the band and I played Frisbee alongside Rock Creek.
As time passed, I began to really appreciate another song by Jessie Colin Young and The Youngbloods. It went like this: If you hear the song I sing – You will understand (listen!) – You hold the key to love and fear – All in your trembling hand – Just one key unlocks them both – It’s there at your command – Come on people now – Smile on your brother – Everybody get together – Try to love one another – Right now.
I can’t imagine a better, more individualized way to fill the God-shaped void that was once inside of me. I was no longer singing about the “emptiness of right now,” as if I had some special relationship to it other than one of reminiscence. I don’t want to miss out on anything just because I am not adequately responsive to Divine Leading. Sure, I know how to develop and execute my own plans. But, I’ve learned, from experience, that God’s plans are always better.
I once had a long conversation with an old friend named Troy while I was on a long drive. I have lots of projects that are just inching forward. And, it really bugs me if anything is running behind my self-imposed schedule. My friend is a systems analyst that has guided some of the largest computer initiatives on the planet. Accordingly, he is experienced in managing projects that have a great number of moving parts. During that long drive he told me two things that I will never forget.
He said that “God doesn’t just want to be your upstairs advisor, he wants to be your partner.” At that I thought, “Well, senior partner obviously.” Then, Troy said something else that I really didn’t understand at first. He said “One-hundred percent of ten percent is more than ten percent of one-hundred percent.” I thought “No it’s not!” But in reality it is.
That completed ten percent is of tremendous value. There is a qualitative difference. It is more serviceable in the way that you get to make use of it.