Confession. I am a self-professed lighting fanatic. Many say that the smartphone is the all-time greatest invention ever but my vote goes to the under-appreciated dimmer switch. Some people have a shoe problem; I have a lamp problem. You cannot catch me without a flashlight in my purse or suitcase. Don’t even get me started about my love for candles. One night I couldn’t find my flashlight and was not happy about it. My daughter said to me, “Mom, why don’t you just use the flashlight on your phone?” Oh, right…allow me to retract… perhaps the smartphone is the greatest invention after all!
Many an evening in this household you can hear my assortment of men and boys saying, “Please turn the lights up, I can’t see my food.” I assure them that the lighting is perfect (according to me) and that if I turn the lights up anymore it will blaze too brightly and activate stress hormones. (Stress to whom?) So I turn up the light because apparently they don’t see what I see.
I took my lighting show on the road with us while visiting family for a big celebratory dinner party. I don’t know what possessed me, but sure enough, I messed with the lighting. This time, it was so dark (again, in my opinion) that I was feeling tired and perhaps a bit depressed. I crossed the lines of decorum and guest ethics and rudely trampled on someone else’s preference. No one put me in charge as lead mood setter at the party. I shouldn’t have been the least bit offended when I was publicly put in my place. “I was just trying to help”, I thought to myself. On the way home, I was reprimanded by my family for crossing that line. It may be a small thing, but I was wrong.
I’m sure there are many of you who can relate to crossing lines in relationships. There is a delicate balance. Wouldn’t life would be so much brighter and simpler if we could always find ourselves in that shiny middle place between over exerting ourselves and tip-toeing around on eggshells? There will forever be challenges in relationships and particularly in family dynamics. The key is to respect and appreciate the fact that we all see things individually. How boring would this world be if we saw everything exactly the same way?
Some see a relationship with Jesus in a foggy complicated light; I see it as really quite simple. He is the light; we follow that light. When we find ourselves in darkness maybe it is because we have become too self-sufficient (turned the dimmer switch to its lowest setting) and have stumbled off that lit path. He knows our hearts and motives and regardless…loves us and delights when we shine.
Ask God this week to shed his brilliant light into your heart and onto His path. Make a list of 5 simple ways you can brighten up someone else’s day. So go out there and live it up!
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:1-5
“He sees because He loves, and, therefore, loves although he sees.” C.S. Lewis
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.