The Eternal War

Waging within us all is a kind of war. For some the war seems quickly won, with a victor easily decided. For others the battle is slower, more drawn out, but in no way less intense. But for a few, the battle is a lifelong struggle against a seemingly overwhelming foe. Ironically, it is often times these people that appear to be the calmest ones of all, the ones that act as though there is no conflict at all. Ah, but it is only an act, for the battle is very real.

Some desire to do good. They excel at all that they do, and they seem confident in the assurance that they will do well. Yet a heart-piercing search will reveal them to be little more than wandering waifs searching for fulfillment, contentment, and, most of all, peace. In this confusion and struggle, these are the people that will strive to please others in a vain search for peace, but other’s pleasure brings only an empty contentment. So the battle continues, growing only more and more fierce.

On the outside, these people seem calm, undisturbable, but they are like tranquil lakes. The surface is smooth, but beneath that surface lies a world of turmoil. Predators feed on their helpless prey; oxygen is greedily consumed by all in order to survive; currents run eternally, pulling everything unanchored along with it. Everything in this underwater world is in its place, yet a cruel relentlessness always drives it, keeping it from a perfect peace. It is from this so neatly organized chaos that inner eyes look up—searching—always searching, for assurance and peace. Gazing upward, a shaft of sunlight is seen penetrating the surface like a ray of hope. And all is calm—for a moment. Quickly the chaos dissipates the light, scattering the hope like a sound on a windy day, and once more the lost waifs are alone in their self-created darkness.

Occasionally, it appears that all the problems have been solved. For a season, impossible dreams are dreamt and deemed within reach, but soon reality descends, suffocating those dreams. The pain is bitter, yet it is clung to desperately as a drowning man clutches a lifeline. The pain cannot be left; it is craved in an illogical manner. At the same time, these poor waifs grow more timid. They allow themselves to hope less and less, always fearing the disappointment and pain of shattered dreams.

Such is the eternal battle between good and evil in perhaps its most potent form. The form that is waged on the battlefield of a human heart. Unlike physical wars, this one cannot be called off. It will continue raging until one wins and the other is destroyed. Unlike earthly battles, casualties cannot bring it to a halt. The fire feeds on itself, burning fuel only to find it immediately replenished. This is the battle contained in the human body. This is the battle of all time. Its complexities rival those of the human psyche, but its answer is many times more difficult to grasp.

Perhaps the worst part of this war is wondering whether one faces this battle alone. Are there others struggling with this war? Does good and evil battle within someone else? Or is a person truly as isolated as he or she makes herself feel? The answer may remain forever unknown, so the timid warrior hides. She hides behind a smiling face and a laughing voice. He hides behind physical exertion and mental strain. They hide in the crowd. They blend, and, like a chameleon, rarely expose their true colors. They think no one else will guess of the secret war they wage against themselves; but they hope, they pray, that someone will see through their calm surface to the deeper waters below. And the war wages on.

But, wait! Look! A beam of sunlight penetrates!

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