By Sharon Heien
Fairview Church of the Brethren
---- — Some 40 plus years ago I was shopping at Town East Mall in Wichita, Kansas. By the time I was ready to leave it was dark outside. I noticed there were so many lights in the parking areas and even down Kellogg Street it looked like it was still daylight and very busy. There were lots of strip malls and businesses in that area of town.
I got to the car, loaded my purchases in the back, got situated and ready to head toward home. There was a lot of traffic. Now and then I saw drivers blink their lights or heard a honk. I wondered who and why they were doing that. I didn’t recognize any of the cars and figured they were signaling someone in one of the other lanes of traffic.
I usually traveled on to Broadway Street before turning south to Haysville, where we lived, but was acquainted with Rock Road, a lot closer, less traffic and a bit of a shortcut. I signaled and turned as opportunity allowed. WHOOH! No lights, no traffic, no moonlight and I couldn’t see a thing. I was shocked. Fear whooshed through me as I instinctively wondered what was going on. Where was I? It momentarily felt like the Twilight Zone. It didn’t take but the next instant to realize I had forgotten to turn my lights on. I quickly slowed down, found the switch and “wallah,” I could see the road again.
For the rest of the journey home, the Lord filled my thoughts with the following message, “It is possible, spiritually, to walk so much by the light of those around you that you don’t realize your own lights have become dim, or are not on at all.” These are the the first words I heard deep inside as I continued driving toward home.
Our church was experiencing a spiritual awakening. Everyone was alive and excited about what the Lord was doing in our lives. Just being in fellowship with each other was inspiring. We continuously shared with each other what God was teaching us through our work, marriage, children, hard and easy times and studies. Walking in the light of that fellowship was exhilarating. I first remembered getting so caught up in my circle of brothers and sisters, I had almost forgotten the need to find my nourishment in the Word of God and fellowship directly with Him. I then realized I’d been somewhat ignoring God, even though I was basking in the glories of what was happening in our congregation. Not only do we need to receive Jesus, the light of the world, (John 1:1-9) we also need to keep that light shinning, the bulb fully connected, the chimney cleaned and polished.
One last thing. Even though I didn’t realize my lights were off, everyone I met could easily see, yet, unknowingly, I was expecting others to keep me in the light.
So, stay closely connected to the source of light and encourage others to get plugged in. How? Fellowship with other light bearing brothers and sisters. Let them help polish your globe; study the Word of God, to help keep your connection intact; spend much time in prayer as you walk through your day to help you learn to listen to the Holy Spirit; let others know about Jesus, the light of the world.