Total Eclipse of the Heart
 
Total Eclipse of the Heart
Written By Mark Elfstrand, Cultural Affairs Writer   |   04.06.24
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Beatles once sang, “Here Comes the Sun.”

Coming up Monday, April 8th, many Illinoisans will be saying, “There goes the sun” if we’re allowed clear enough skies to witness another total solar eclipse. An Illinois government website explains that this “total solar eclipse will be visible over 128 miles of Illinois the afternoon of April 8th, 2024.” 

Various places around the country are vying to be the best site to witness the eclipse. Our Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says Carbondale will be the largest Illinois city in the path of totality. There, “the eclipse will begin moments before 2 p.m. and last for 4 minutes and 9 seconds, which is nearly double the length of time of the 2017 eclipse.”

Prefer a more remote location? The DNR states that thirty-one Illinois state parks and sites might be a good choice. They explain, “Numerous other parks and sites lie just outside the path of totality, offering equally spectacular views of the eclipse, though for shorter periods of time.”

And if you miss this one, well, your next total solar eclipse opportunity will happen in the lower 48 on August 23, 2044.

Several years ago, recording artist Bonnie Tyler had a humber one hit song titled, “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Recorded in 1982, the tune remains an evergreen favorite and has experienced heightened popularity during real solar eclipses.

A section of the song lyrics says…

“Once upon a time, I was falling in love,

But now I’m only falling apart.

There’s nothing I can do.

A total eclipse of the heart.

Once upon a time, there was light in my life,

But now there’s only love in the dark.

Nothing I can say.

A total eclipse of the heart.

The total eclipse of the heart. It’s a sad state to ponder that where there was once light in this life, now darkness has taken over. Some might argue the spiritual light in our world has turned dark. Perhaps even indicating a final turn we call “the end times.”

In 2 Timothy 3 we read,

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.They are the kind who…are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (NIV)

No doubt there were times before these where people must have believed they were living in the “last days.” Reality tells us that at some point in history, it will be true. We seem to have plenty of evidence to suggest that significant darkness has invaded the globe.

People of the Christian faith know that the Middle East will be the climactic focal point. Notice how the tensions have grown in that part of the world. Israel has plenty of enemies. Its borders are surrounded by them.

And within the small (tiny?) land mass Israel occupies, there is the struggle of those who identify as “Palestinians” who demand more real estate. Some of the most hateful among them belong to a group known as Hamas—people willing to rape Israeli women, murder their children, and take hostages as we witnessed last October.

Those who currently protest the aggressive response by Israel were nowhere to be found crying out for justice last October. Protestors here in the U.S. have turned a blind eye to Israel and sided with the many displaced Gazans. Our government leaders are even divided on this issue.

The darkness we see today in the world, which becomes more menacing by the hour, is fueled as always by the Prince of Demons—Satan! He is the one always seeking to lure hearts to the real dark side—his domain!

Satan does this by wooing human souls away from our Creator. Jesus is the Light of the World! He invites all to come to the Light and away from the darkness where only folly awaits us. Jesus pulls us out of the darkness!

When the Evil One brings another soul into captivity he does so as a false angel of light. Those who follow his urgings often become trapped in the darkness. Without hope. Only death.

When that darkness takes over, be it to a person or to a country, it is truly a “total eclipse of the heart.”


Mark Elfstrand, Cultural Affairs Writer
Mark Elfstrand is a Christian husband, father and grandfather. A 40-year radio veteran, Mark has been a drive time air personality in Sacramento, Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Chicago, including WMBI and WYLL. He has also served in various ministry leadership positions. His current endeavors can be found at elfstrandgroup.com....
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