Letting Your Light Shine

“Apricot Fudge” Double Asiatic Lily Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Looking at the news, one can understand why a person might try to withdraw from reality. Many years ago I attended an Evangelism Convention in Chicago, Illinois where Dr. Donald English was a speaker. He told a delightful story he attributed to Sir David McNee,  who was  once Head of the London Police Force.

Each year the  Police Force created an exam for cadets where they would set up an impossible situation.  The goal was to find out how a budding police officer would respond under pressure. One year, cadets were faced with this situation: “You have been called to the scene of an accident where two large cars have collided. In one car is the Superintendent of Police out for the evening with a woman, who is obviously not his wife. In the second car is the Police Sergeant from your division. On the seat beside him, is money that was supposed to have been deposited in the Police Benevolence fund. While you are trying to decide what to do, you hear screaming coming from a nearby building. Looking around you, you discover a woman, leaning out a third story window. While you watch, someone drags her back inside.”

“At that very moment, the stadium lets out – there has been a fierce soccer match. Outside the building, opposing fans choose up sides and mob violence erupts. Given that situation, what would you do?” One police cadet had simply responded, “I would strip off uniform and merge with crowd.”

There are days when it would be easier to retreat from the world, slough off responsibility and nestle into a safe place.  At least until the worst of the today’s trouble passes us by.   But, safe places have never been where Christians are called to go.  We’re called instead into the thick of the battle, to carry on the work of the Kingdom of God. That work can be done in as many ways as there are people in the world. Look around you. Who needs some care? Is there a person you’ve been thinking about this past week and you’ve wondered how they are? Have you been ignoring a nagging sense that you have resources you could donate to a cause – one that has been begging for help? What talent could you share, if you were willing? Is God nudging you to step out of your comfort zone and try doing something you’ve never done before?

While retreat, rest and renewal are essential to our  wellbeing, we were not made to nestle in safe places forever.  We were meant  to be lights – and to let our lights shine.

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16