Monday, April 25, 2011
That we are made to shine like fluorescent stickers
My youngest son, Blake, has some stickers up on his bedroom ceiling that look like stars. When we lived at our old house, his older brother, Logan, had a whole solar system of stickers that we stuck on the ceiling to shine over his head while he slept. These types of stickers look plain and ordinary during the day. They aren't half as showy as the brighter coloured ones that we stick in books or on doors. Only at night do you get the full impact of how unique they are. All day while we don't them a thought, these stickers are quietly soaking in first daylight and then electric light. Then when we say, "Goodnight" and switch off the lights, they get their chance to shine the way their designer intended. That's when we breathe, "Wow" and the boys appreciate the beautiful glow of the sticker galaxies to lull them off to sleep.
I can't help noticing that some people are like these flourescent stickers. They aren't necessarily the most showy or outwardly beautiful people but we can't help sensing a calm, steady glow when we're around them. It seems they don't let the same things bother them that other people do. It's easy to imagine that they are ambassadors from a different, more refreshing place where we'd all like to live. They respond to the normal ups and downs of differently to others.
I used to try to copy the actions of people like this, with dismal results. I guess many of us go through the learning process of understanding why this doesn't work. It's like a prawn trying to practise the moves of a dolphin. But we don't need to shrug our shoulders and assume that this sort of radiance is just their personality, and unattainable to mere mortals. Like the stickers on Blake's bedroom ceiling, the glowing people aren't born with inner light any more than the rest of us. Just as fluorescent stickers soak in light, so do they! It's a habit we can all get into, and the longer and more consistently we do, the more light we will give off. That's just common-sense!
How do we attain this type of light? We simply spend time with the author and creator of all light, God Himself! We soak in His light as we read and ponder the Words He's given us in the Bible. We speak to Him in sincere prayer, maintaining a happy expectancy that He will keep His promise to keep filling our hearts with the things that please Him. We recognise the valuable input of human light-bearers whenever we see it. We acknowledge light in our personal circumstances with grateful hearts.
But we need to keep this up. When we don't let light into Blake's bedroom, the glow in the stickers soon runs out. Same thing happens to people who decide not to keep returning for re-fills of the sort of light we need to live well. I used to assume that only God can gauge the true state of any individual's heart but now I think that's not entirely true. He's made us to be reflect His light precisely so that others can be attracted to it and want it for themselves.
I know I have no light of my own but I really want to be a fluorescent sticker.
"I've set you up as a light to all nations. You'll proclaim salvation to the four winds and seven seas" Acts 13: 48 (The Message)
"You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light-stand - shine!" Matthew 5: 14-15 (The Message)