Jenga in the Dark


After the last day of school, shout out to summer break, my roommate and I were hanging out at home while we waited to meet up with friends. Pretty content in our cozy little abode, we watched a spring storm blow in. The clouds billowed against the rapidly fading sunset. The rain pounded against the windows as the wind whipped rhythmically around our building. As lightning lit up the sky, it seemed the perfect backdrop to a chaotic day. All was well in our comfortable little loft.

Then with a quick flash and a rumble our lights flickered for a short moment, and our apartment went black. The blackness engulfed us as our comfort faded. Wandering to out to the hallway to see the damage, I realized that our side of the street was the only one without power. I called to report the outage. Then, we waited. We could do nothing else to speed up the process of restoring power.

I do not consider myself a high maintenance person, but I do not love when I lose power. In the forced darkness I can feel powerless and bored very fast. I can’t fix it. I lack the ability to instantly connect via internet, television, computers ect. The lack of electrical power gives me no choice but to be present. Ok, I might be a bit high maintenance. But without power I feel out of control and rendered helpless.

Losing power is inconvenient and annoying. Alone with our thoughts, we began to scrounge for candles with scents that would not clash, truly an art form. We searched for flashlights. And then, after those seven minutes we ran out of things to do.

After sitting in the dimly lit darkness, we decided to play a game of Jenga because that is what all self-respecting adults would do. As we sat playing Jenga in the dark, I saw a metaphor for life in the darkness.

When you lose power, you resort to random games.

At times in our walk with Christ all seems well. We sit comfortably in our apartment as the storms swirl around us. We are safe. And then, something seems ripped away from us. We might lose electricity or feel alone in the darkness. In those moments we must choose to lean into Christ and all He has for us. We have to seek out The Lord even in the darkness and the hard seasons.

When the power went out, we had a choice. Do we moan and groan or do we enjoy the stillness? I want to choose to enjoy the stillness. I want to play Jenga in the dark instead of letting the dark times pass me by. I do not want a season of life to go by and miss what could have been. Even when it is hard and complicated and messy I want to live with joy.

After I “cheated” in Jenga, we did not establish the rules beforehand, all our candle scents mixed to smell like a Bath and Body Works in the heat of summer without power, and I applied make-up by candlelight with only a slight eyeliner mishap we headed out to meet our friends. As we were heading out, our lights came back on. After the lights came back, they seemed so overpowering and bright. I appreciated the fan and the light by the mirror in the bathroom more than I did before losing power.

The irony of the lights coming on as we left our building made me laugh. God knew we would be fine. He knew we could entertain ourselves. We actually had fun. Because we did not have power, when it came back I valued it more. In the darkness I longed for light. I now appreciated it more.

There will be seasons of life where it seems you are stuck in the darkness. In those times, play Jenga in the dark, find joy where you are, and trust that in God’s timing the power will be restored. And when it is restored, it will be even more valuable than before.   


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