Today’s solar eclipse gives us the opportunity to experience a rare and unforgettable astrological event. Some will travel for hours just to stand in total darkness for less than three minutes during the middle of the day.
With all the excitement, it’s hard to imagine anyone being frightened. Yet, some of the earliest recorded accounts of an eclipse tell us people were terrified. During that time in history, they didn’t know what caused a solar eclipse; therefore, they feared it.
Today, we have the benefit of understanding that this marvel takes place when the moon passes between the earth and the sun. During totality, even though the sun is several hundred times larger than the moon, it will appear they are the same size. But according to NASA, it’s just the way they are lined up in orbit in relation to the earth.
We now recognize the lunar shadow blocking the sunlight from earth is nothing to be concerned about.
Casting a Big Shadow
Late one afternoon, I was walking the dogs when a large shadow of a bird crossed our path. I jumped at the sudden appearance and the size of the shadow. With my heart beating faster than a moment before, I looked up expecting to see the largest eagle in history or a prehistoric flying dinosaur. Instead, the only object in the sky was a tiny bird.
In disbelief, I watched as it landed on a nearby power line. I laughed at my reaction. The shadow was so much greater than the little creature itself. The position of the sun at that time of day caused the shadow cast to appear dramatically larger than the bird.
The Other Side of Fear
Sometimes when shadows cross our lives they appear huge and threatening. Yet in reality the thing we fear is not near as big as we give it credit. Once the shadow moves on past, we see with a clearer perspective and observe the object of our fear in its true nature.
Have you ever felt nervous before trying something new only to realize afterward that it wasn’t so bad? That’s certainly happened to me. Before we attempt a new thing, the anxiety and concern can be consuming. Then after the fact, we see it was no big deal and wonder why we wasted so much energy on worry.
Like the lunar shadow causing the eclipse and the looming shade of a tiny bird, the shadow of our fear blocks out the light shining on the other side. The light is still there. We just can’t see it from where we stand. When big shadows cross our paths, it serves us well to stop for a minute and consider what waits just beyond the initial fear.
In the comment below, please share a time when you recognized the shadow of fear was greater than the thing you feared.
Image: Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash