Shine as Lights to the World

JC at SoL

No dreams are too big, but sometimes we lose the courage to pursue them.  French Nobel Laureate André Gide writes that “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Fear keeps us holding onto the shore.

Time is running so fast, flowing like a river in our lives, sometimes stormy, sometimes with stillness.  We all encounter the world’s brokenness in different ways. For some we know there are more days behind us, then in front of us.  We struggle to find relevance in a changing world, which we helped create but sometimes do not understand.  When we were young, we never took advice, now we want to pass along the experiences and it falls on deaf ears.  Greek poet Heraclitus said it best: “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” Life is about change, and managing the seasons of our lives.

Many of us are not the person we desired to be as we thought we would be growing up.  Life has taught us many hard lessons.  We can feel the weight of the world on our shoulders.  We grasp to find the sweet memories from our past, discover the strength to face today and find hope for the future.  Amazing how we can get so lost in a broken world, and forget who we are—or whose we are.

When we strip everything back to bare basics, we are all the same.   We want to find love.  We want someone who knows that we are not perfect but treats us as if we are.  We want someone whose greatest fear is losing us, and we want to hang on to that love and meet challenges all couples face—together.  When they tell us they love us, we want to hear that conviction in their voice.  When those we love are with us, we want them present at the moment. We want to smile from within, because we know smiles are often faked on the outside.

We need to connect to God on a spiritual level, but we need another person to connect with on an emotional level.  When we find them, we have to hold on to them and value how blessed we truly are.  Being truly fulfilled mentally, physically, and emotionally is essential to being truly happy here on earth.  John Rzeznik, of the band Goo Goo Dolls, sings in Better Days: “I wish everyone was loved tonight, and somehow stop this endless fight, just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days.”

in a dark world, full of lies, hate, and confusion we can all find better days, by looking inside ourselves and being better people.  Hard to fathom, but you may be the only light in a dark world that some people will ever see.  We all have a mission to bring hope to the world and show a heart of compassion to others.  It is easy to judge and condemn, it is harder to engage with love and show kindness.  We should find something in life to be grateful for, and see our lives as a gift. And share that gift with others, not in isolation.

Those who bring hope to the world in the darkest of times and battle despair, inspire hope for future generations.  Light drives out darkness.  Nothing is ever lost, if hope is on your side.  Philippians 2:14-16 says:  Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.  Shine your light in the world, we need it now more than ever before.

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JC Bowman, Random Thoughts on a Tuesday