So one of the things about living in New England is that Winters here are not only cold, but drab. Thickly overcast skies and bland colors in shades of brown, white and gray really don't make for a very cheerful atmosphere. However, they do make you appreciate the sunlight, ANY sunlight, more. After a long succession of drab dark days where barely a hint of blue sky is visible the normal sunny days seem almost glaringly tropical. This weekend we had two of those days. It was still cold out there, but soooooooo bright and sunny, it was WONDERFUL! Driving out in it though, well....when your eyes are acclimated to the dark gloomy palette, AND both pairs of your dark sunglasses are at home because you have to replace screws that fell out...you may feel a little less than thankful for the extremely bright sunlight that's blinding you.
So that was kind of my dilemma this weekend, especially yesterday when I was fighting a migraine. So many times I have been irritable when trying to drive or even when riding as a passenger and it seems that every couple of moments the road curves in such a way that another blinding shot of light finds a space to shoot through causing me to squint and bob my head like some parrot doing the boogie to Rockin' Robin. LOL
In those moments I crave the overcast days because it's convenient and less interfering with MY plans.
Enter my God moment, stage left.
So as we were driving along and I was silently complaining and whining to myself for one stray cloud somewhere over the entire state of Connecticut to get the blasted sun out of my eyes, I had an epiphany. Sometimes those of us accustomed to living in the light are so blinded by the inconvenience of the brightness that we forget what it's like to appreciate the presence of the light at all.
A few years ago during the bleak Winter here we had several weeks of nothing but gray, overcast, dark days.....so many in a row that I remember being in tears because I just wanted some sunlight......ANY sunlight. ( I would NEVER be able to live in Alaska! Three months of darkness....oh no...no, no, no...not for me.) Then late one day we had a break in the skies and the tiniest patch of bright baby blue streaked with the most amazing shades of orange, pink, yellow and red appeared just as the sun was setting. It was the only beautiful color within eyesight and even though it was small and seemingly insignificant in the vast expanse of gray sky, it was GLORIOUS! On that day I would have PAID to have sunlight blinding me!
HMMMMMMMM........So I was thinking.........I was frustrated by the sunlight streaming from seemingly every angle and filling my eyes, but do I shine enough of the light from THE Son that it dispels the bleak darkness for those I come in contact with who are CRAVING light?
Ephesians 5:8 (New Living Translation)
For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!Yeah sure I give off some light, maybe even more than some others, MAYBE, but I would be a fool to ever think it's enough. ANY Christian who isn't constantly growing to be a better example of our faith by truly reflecting the heart of Christ to those around us needs to remember what it was like to be in the darkness and crying out, craving the light. Instead many of us, and I'm including myself because I'm just as guilty of this, get irritated by the inconvenience of our faith. How often do we say things like, "Well I didn't invite them to church because they probably wouldn't come anyway..." or "Well I didn't want to tell them about my faith because I didn't want to offend them..." or maybe some harder to identify ones like "I would have gone to church today, but I'm just so tired..." or "Well I would have volunteered, but they looked like they had enough help..." Then there are the REALLY hard to spot ones like "I'll pray for you..."...and then promptly forget about that when we are out of sight. OUCH....how many of us have done that one?
That verse in Ephesians I posted above says we are to LIVE as people of the light, not just hop in and out of our persona as it's convenient. We need to keep the memory of what it was like to have no hope, have no joy, have no peace burned on the frontal lobes of our brains so we NEVER forget it. That way we will always remember to shine the light of our faith by actually living it, even when the brightness seems inconvenient to us. I need to remember that too......random people, and some not so random are put in our lives and across our paths on a daily basis for us to shine light to....I pray that you and I both reflect a light so bright that they need sunglasses.