It is one of those mornings…my automatic reader is on. The one where I’m reading one thing yet my mind is somewhere entirely different….drifting in and out of attention.
I’m reading the familiar, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden…” (Matthew 5:14 NIV 2011)
Wait…what…“A town????” No…that’s suppose to be “city.” City is much better. A city means bright light, prominent, important, influential, prosperous… City is better!!
Then I hear that quiet whisper…Why?? Why is a city better than a town?
I quiet myself and contemplate through my reasoning of such a hasty judgement.
We all know a city cannot be hidden. The city light shines out for miles. Driving in the darkness, one can see the glow of the city far in the distance…the radiating light rises above the landscape.
In ministry and in life, we want to be the city. We want our life to be influential…others to notice our effectiveness. We want our reach to be extensive.
Envy creeps in as we look at others…their ministry, their church, their reach, their influence. Their light shines brighter. They’re more effective. Even in social media we compare…they have more followers, more friends, more retweets, more likes…. I’m just one small light in the middle of nowhere.
In small town Iowa where I grew up, one can drive for miles through nothing but darkness. There is no radiating light from a nearby influential city…not even a street light along the gravel road. Yet in that darkness, the lone farm house with its one small barn light shines bright through the miles of dark. It shines in stark contrast to the night around…
My grandparents’ farm was in the country outside of our small town. I could pick out their farm light over the dark fields. As I headed down the gravel road towards that light, I knew warmth, love and delicious food would be found inside. That light…that small, singular light…holds influence in my life, prominence and…significance.
The single light can seem lost and swallowed up in comparison to city lights. It might think itself small, insignificant and ineffective. Yet when it shines from where The Farmer places it…the influence is great. People in darkness are drawn to The Light and they find refuge from their wandering.
Do not think where He has placed you is insignificant. He marked out your appointed time in history and where you would even live. (Acts 17:26) So remember today, when His Light shines through you it is not ineffective, insignificant or of small consequence.
Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify Your Father in heaven. ~ Matthew 5:16