Again, Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
I watch it die every day. More than most guys I enjoy atmosphere…ambience matters…especially in my morning routine. I have a home office and that is where I start my day every day when I am home. The first thing I do is flood the office with light. There is a switch on the wall that turns on the overhead lights and then I ask my friend Alexa to turn on “office” and she usually accommodates. That turns on a light in one corner and a light on my desk. Let there be light…and now there is. Check.
Next, I go over and put a K-cup in my Keurig and in just a minute or two I have a cup of coffee. Check. Next to the coffee machine is a small table with a WoodWick candle on it. It is one of those candles that crackles when you light it—sorta like when you pour milk on a bowl of Rice Krispies—snap, crackle, pop. I light the candle and settle into my chair where a remote control allows me to fire up my electric fireplace. It is then, and only then, that I am ready to watch the weather and do my Jesus time. Check. Check. Check.
Well, sooner or later, I must leave, and I begin to undo what I did. Alexa is kind enough to turn off the lights and then I walk over to extinguish the candle. There are two ways to do this, and I always choose what seems to be easiest. I take the metal lid and plop it down on the jar and that is when it happens. I watch the flame slowly die. For the first few moments, the flame continues to burn but then it doesn’t. It grows weaker and smaller until it just dies. Believe it or not, I always find it a bit sad because I know what is happening. With the lid on, the flame slowly consumes the oxygen in the jar and when that is done…it is done. The flame cannot burn without oxygen and with the lid in place there soon isn’t any.
To me, each time it is a lesson about life. We all know there are things where we need to live passionately, actively, and purposely. They are things like hope, love, faith, and purpose. When these are allowed to flourish there is a reason to get out of bed each morning and there is a reason to keep going. Those big four are vital to us—to our lives. If, and when, we allow those to starve in our lives, it is just a matter of time before life loses its zip, its purpose, its passion. It is just a matter of time before what once burned brightly is just a glowing ember of its former self or worse…just a warm wick.
How does that happen? Well, I am sure there are multiple reasons, and they are different for each of us but so often somewhere there is a lid that plopped down on our life and just like the candle…the flame begins to die. Soon, hope is replaced with despair, love is taken over with hurt and brokenness and fear quietly and effectively stills our faith and purpose, direction and drive fade away as we wonder why we even bother. Familiar? Too familiar? I know because there have been times when I have allowed the “lid of limits” to put out my flame.
Invariably, I have discovered but one way to keep the flame burning and that is a close and carefully guarded relationship with the One who made me. The hope, love, and purpose that I find in life—driven by faith in Him—creates an environment that keeps the flame burning. Even if you are wrestling with the whole God thing—I hope you will reconsider and ignite or reignite a relationship, a fellowship with Him. Don’t settle for what culture says, what the guys at the office say…no, check Him out. Begin by reading the most ancient and most trusted sacred writing there is—the Bible. Try having a conversation with Him—it might be weird at first but so was your first conversation with your first boyfriend or girlfriend. All the oddness of it all is worth it if your flame once again begins to burn.
Each morning, I remove the lid and relight the candle and each day it responds with new life…new warmth…and a new dose of snap, crackle, pop. Why not allow this Friend that I call my Dearest Daddy add light to your life? Jesus said that He is the light of the world and anyone who chooses to follow Him will never walk in darkness. It’s just His way of saying, “Trust me…I’ve got this.” Bro. Dewayne