Lover Of The Light – (Mumford & Sons)
Mississippi Highway 9 runs approximately 105 miles north–south from Mississippi Highway 30 east of New Albany, MS, all the way to Mississippi Highway 12 in Ackerman, MS. The section that I drove most of my life was about a ten mile stretch that connected from US-78 out of Tupelo, MS to US-278/6 West to Oxford, MS. This story takes place years ago when the Highway 9 section I drove was just an old two lane highway…I must have driven this old highway a thousand times…I knew every turn and I even knew what the houses would look like coming around the next corner (I can remember one old house tucked away with a wrap-around porch that I always wanted). But I drove this so many times back and forth I used to tell people I could make the drive in my sleep…
When I was little I will admit that I was scared of the dark…I had to have “night lights” in my room and most nights the door had to be left open. I remember after my parents would tuck me in and go back downstairs I would look around the room with the covers pulled tight, terrified of any shadow that I saw on the walls. And if I stared long enough I would imagine the shadows start to move and I would inch as far as I could to the center of my bed and under the covers. Sounds crazy and embarrassing right? Well I can’t hide it because it was true…I think every kid gets scared of the dark sometimes, but it wasn’t just the dark that I was scared of, I was afraid of everything that I could not see…I can remember my mom would always pray for Angels to keep me safe so I had this prayer that I made up that was really short and I would say it over and over again every night after my mom or dad would leave the room. I would say, “Dear God…please keep me safe tonight, please send Angels around me with their swords and shields ready to fight anything that comes near me. Amen.” And that was it. That was my prayer. Sounds kind of funny but I said it so many times that I never forgot it…
The day this story takes place I was simply making my routine 55-mile drive from Oxford, MS to Tupelo, MS…I was coming home…I can remember as soon as I turned onto Highway 9 I started feeling really tired…it kind of just hit me all at once. I have been tired before while driving but nothing felt close to the way it did on this day. I started having trouble keeping my eyes open…I specifically remember rolling down all my windows and turning up my radio as loud as it could go, I was trying to do anything I could to stay awake. I could feel the wind blowing in hard through all the windows and my music was blaring. I didn’t have any coffee, I had no caffeine, I didn’t have any of my drugs at this point to keep me awake so I just remember saying to myself “keep fighting”…After about a mile or two I started to do the “head drop” where you literally fall asleep for like 2 seconds and your head feels like it snaps off your neck…I kept doing that and I have no idea why I did not just pull over but I kept thinking of how close I was to Tupelo…that if I could just stay awake a little while longer I would make it home…I just had a few more miles…Well I honestly can’t tell you what really happened to me next but everything went dark…I passed out completely I do know that…I was probably driving anywhere between 50 or 60 MPH… and I have no idea how long I was out…and I know it would sure make the story great if I could tell you that I had recited my Angel prayer while I was gripping the steering wheel but I honestly don’t think I did. The only thing I know for a fact is that I remember my head being lifted up really fast, I remember my eyes opening, and it was one of those split second moments in my life….I was no longer driving in my lane but I had completely crossed over to the oncoming traffic lane…the weight of my foot had punched the pedal to full acceleration and I remember immediately seeing the front end of a 90’s body style Chevy Suburban maybe 30 or 40 feet away coming straight at me, head on…I yanked the steering wheel right then left and then right again slamming on my brakes, I remember watching through my rearview mirror the Chevy Suburban barreling off the side of the road onto the shoulder then back onto the highway with the sound of his brakes I can still hear over my music…we both had come to a complete stop. I remember sitting with my foot on the brake, the smoke settling, my music was still at full volume, I was wide awake, heart pounding, and my car was stopped forty-fived straddling the two lane highway facing the woods. I was looking back and watching the Suburban anxiously through my rearview to see what was about to happen next…about 30 seconds go by and they just slowly get back on the highway and kept driving…so I slowly did the same. I had never been more scared in my life, and never more afraid of what I could not see…
What scares you the most? Do you ever feel like you have been asleep at the wheel in your life? Maybe you felt like I did when I thought I had made that drive so many times I could do it in my sleep…Maybe you look at life that way…Things get so routine whether its with a job, your daily life, your relationships, and it just becomes easy for us to “fall asleep” (Trust me I know it does). How do we wake back up? How can we become unafraid of the things that we cannot see? What can we do to actually change this once and for all? Can we just turn on a light when we need it?
“I have done wrong. You built your tower, but call me home and I will build a throne. And wash my eyes out never again. But love the one you hold, and I’ll be your gold, to have and to hold…a lover of the light.”
Mumford & Sons are a Grammy Award winning alternative folk-rock band from London. Band leader Marcus Mumford is the son of John and Eleanor Mumford. His parents were actually the founders and national leaders of the British arm of the Vineyard Church in the U.K. and Ireland. When asked if hearing his father’s preaching and singing in the choir had any influence on him, Marcus said, “Yeah, through going to church, I learned how to be in bands.” The great 18th century hymnists Charles Wesley and John Newton are two of Marcus Mumford’s influences in his writing. The son of a preacher man has chosen not to label his band as a religious band but continues to write songs filled with the themes and imagery of faith and Christianity. In an interview the band says, “I guess we’re not rock stars, so maybe people can relate to us a bit more normally, our music is congregational, we want people to come together in a point of reckless abandon and love…” Cathleen Falsani, from Religion News Service, is quoted as saying, “I don’t care what Mumford calls himself…His actions and words tell a story of faith that is much more nuanced, and therefore truer, than any label they might pin over their hearts or have thrust upon them.” Mumford’s Lover Of The Light is from their 2012 winner of Album Of The Year titled Babel. This stunning short-film music video, starring and co-directed by Idris Elba (from HBO’s The Wire and BBC’s Luther), does not feature the band anywhere, but instead depicts Elba as a blind man running free through the countryside of Wales without his guide dog or his walking cane…
Psalm 91:11 | For He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.
Sometimes I feel like I still need “night lights” in my life. I recently told someone very special to me that whenever we get scared in life of the things we cannot see, it’s at these times when we should not worry but actually be happy…because these are the exact moments that reassure us that God is in control of His plan for our lives, not us. Mumford & Sons’ music video Lover Of The Light has become one of my favorite videos to watch from beginning to end…It is a very powerful and inspirational video about being aware of all of your senses but leaving the comfort of your routine life (the four walls in Elba’s home) for the first time and keeping your fears at the door…it’s simply about having faith, even when you feel completely blind…It’s about facing what you cannot see…
Out there that day on Mississippi Highway 9 I will never know what actually happened in that moment when I was blind…but I do remember that feeling of my head being lifted up and my eyes opening all at once…maybe my body just woke up in that split second moment before a crash…or maybe it was those Angels I had always prayed for with their swords and their shields…I don’t know…but whatever happened to wake me up I am extremely thankful to be alive and thankful that nobody was injured at all that day. I do believe I have a purpose in life… I believe we all have a purpose in life and sometimes, even as adults, it’s ok to admit that we just need a “night light” every once in awhile. God has given me second chances…He’s even given me third and fourth chances…His love and grace changed me forever. Even after all the bad things I have done, the people I have hurt, and even after the years I was asleep, God was there…it’s as simple and as awesome as those three words – God was there. How could I not seek out His light? I need it daily. We all need to take that light and let it shine for others who are desperately looking for a “night light.” God’s light is always on no matter how long you fall asleep, and His door is always left open for you…Be thankful for what you can see in your life and even be thankful for the things that you cannot see…because we can be blind and still be “lovers of the light” = LOVE. Nothing is impossible…
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Watch, listen, and share what happens when you decide to live the next 10 days in love.
(Listen below to Lover Of The Light by Mumford & Sons)
(An estimated 1 in 25 adult drivers (aged 18 years or older) report having fallen asleep while driving in the previous 30 days…I was one of those drivers and I pray that I never fall asleep again. Please always remember to wear your seat belts and if you get tired, just pull over. Don’t try to fight it like I did.)
(Feature post photo by Kerrie DeFelice)
If you are just joining Ten Days In Love and missed any previous posts click the links below: