Driving through town at dusk to meet friends for dinner, Mom asked if I had my headlights on. Accustomed to lights that come on automatically, I realized I hadn’t even given it a thought.
Looking around, I noticed that most cars were brightened with headlights. It was not dark yet, but the sunlight had diminished enough that automatic headlights, programmed to respond in low light conditions, had illuminated.
Immediately I thought about my life as a follower of Jesus. Jesus compared our lives to light in Matthew 5. He said we should shine brightly so that others can see our lives and give glory to God. There are times when the darkness of the world is so dense that the light we cast is obvious. We illuminate dark corners when injustice occurs and we shine the light of justice into the situation.
We teach our children to be truthful and kind so their light will shine. Bullying, racism, stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination are all dark corners that we endeavor to illuminate with the love, kindness and acceptance we receive from Jesus. So many times we know to shine our light brightly.
But there are other times when I don’t need light to find my way, so I go about my day without thinking much about it. But others need the light, so I ought to let it shine for them. Just like when I was driving at dusk. I didn’t need my headlights to illuminate my way. When I turned them on it made little difference to me. But it made all the difference for other drivers. Now I was visible. I no longer blended in with my surroundings. Dusk is a difficult time to see. Shadows mix with the last rays of sunlight to create shifting images that confuse and disorient even the best driver.
I don’t know where you need to shine your light, but I know the Holy Spirit does. He will show you. This week, remember what Jesus said about our light and then turn yours on, even if you don’t need it. After all, it isn’t about you anyway.
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.Matthew 5:14-16