Be the Light

Day 2 – Alaska Trip /

If you’ve ever traveled or lived in the far north you have most likely experienced either the very long days and short nights of summer or the inverse of this in the winter. Alaska is this way. Alaska is a place of extremes, even at the most basic levels of daylight and darkness. 

Last night when I took off from Phoenix heading north the sun was going down. But it never really went down. It was a 4.5 hour flight of extended sunset. It was wild! I mean, some sunsets can last a while, but this one literally lasted 4 hours. When I landed in Anchorage at 11:30 pm I could easily see moose grazing just outside the runway. It was that light. When I finally got to bed at 1:30 am it still wasn’t really dark. I think blackout curtains are essential up here in the Klondike. 

I like science. Science is the quest for knowing truth and understanding the world around us. And when properly understood and appreciated it is full of beauty and meaning.   It is for this reason that I liked science so much that I was a high school science teacher for a quarter of a century! Such good memories and so many friendships. Can’t believe how blessed I have been. 

 Anyway, over the years I have learned a lot of things about nature and God through  science. And one thing that I’ve learned is that the sun shines the same amount of time over the entire surface of the earth. The sun’s gift to the earth, life giving light, is poured out the same all over the earth. It’s just that it’s spread out differently. You see, it’s the same every day on the equator with 12 hours of sunlight and 12 hours of darkness. Every day, of every season it’s the same. But, on the other hand, if you were at the North Pole at the summer solstice you would experience 24 hours of sunlight and no darkness at all. But you would experience the opposite extreme during the winter solstice when it would be dark 24 hours a day. I guess you could say it is “bipolar” up there… or down there, since the opposite extreme would be experienced at the South Pole.

Anyway, where is this ramble going? Well, here’s my thoughts. God is light. He is life. And His love and grace are poured out equally to all people all over the earth  just like the sunlight. But here’s the thing. His love and grace aren’t aren’t experienced by all people at all times. And this is a good thing. You see, when we are basking in the sunlight of God’s love and grace, experiencing the joy of the Lord, we have an opportunity to be a conduit of God’s blessings to those that might be experiencing darkness and discouragement. In this way, we can truly be the light of the world and experience joy. As Jesus said…

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:14-16 

As you live out your life today, ask yourself… Am I experiencing the “Light of the World” today?  Or am I experiencing a season of perpetual darkness? Am I reflecting the light and love of God to others, or am I just content with enjoying it by myself?  

Friends, let’s all commit to spending some time with God today. Read his word, meditate, journal, and pray. Bask in the warmth of His love and grace. Then go out and shine your light in the dark world today!  Amen