Light a Candle

Last week I was challenged to look around to see the evidences of God's grace in my life as opposed to all of the crap. This seems to be a theme in my life of late. I must say that it was really great taking the time to see all of the areas where God is moving in my life. It was great to pause and see that God was at work both in my life and through my life. This week's challenge is similar to that one.

There is a Chinese Proverb that says, "Don't curse the darkness; light a candle." On Sunday I had one of those incredible conversation with my best friend that I only have with him. With him I was able to be raw, vulnerable and unapologetic in my bluntness. We talked passionately about theology, politics, ministry and life in general. Those talks always lead me into deep thought. It is one of those things that I love but I hate. I love them because it gives me time to pause, reflect and to be introspective. I hate it for the same reasons. My tendency is to become very introspective and over think everything. Initially it led me to "curse the darkness". I began to have a pity party with me as the only invited guest. It was ridiculous. But then on Monday I got a phone call. I initially was confused. I thought to myself, "I am pretty sure I am not the Pastor on call today" because for some reason I thought the number was from our "on-call" number. It was a call from a person who wanted me to give an acquaintance of hers a call. After talking with this acquaintance my whole perspective changed.

Where I had been focusing on poor ol' Ray, my perspective changed to another person. When I shifted from me to "we" I began to see the evidences of God's grace. I began to see things differently. Then I was struck by a simple yet incredibly profound revelation. It dawned upon me that whenever I spent time focusing on me--where I was the center of my life--I focused on the problems. On another level, I focused on the darkness and I cursed it. However, when I put the Gospel--and its call on me--at the center of my life that all changed. I saw that my life is most useful and effective when it is spent lighting candles than when I curse the darkness.

See the thing that I love about this proverb is it does not disregard the darkness. It does not tell me to think positively and the darkness will flee. No. It says, in that darkness while it surrounds me to light a candle. When I light that candle my perspective changes.

Will you join me this week in this challenge? Can we commit to lighting candles in the darkness?

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