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.
A few weeks back, I was at a high school football game as a band parent volunteer. After half time, I went for some food at the concession stand. The lines had not abated. It was the opposing team’s homecoming. Many kids were beautifully dressed in gowns or the cadet uniforms of the young men who escorted the ladies of homecoming court. It was a bit of a happy mob at the concession counter, excited teenagers all a buzz over the night. A group of friends were in line behind me gossiping about who was asking who out and who liked someone else. The line was taking a very long time to move. Then one of the teens behind me noticed their other friends at the front of the line and made a suggestion.
“Why don’t we go up there with them and skip all these people.” And just as quickly as the bad idea was vocalized, and I braced to wait even longer, a voice of reason rang through. One young lady said, “I don’t think that’s how lines work.” I almost turned to high five her. The other kids giggled and agreed. And they remained where they were.
It’s just so easy in our world to justify small ways to break the rules. We can so easily not pick up trash we don’t get quite into the bin, not return a shopping cart, lie about not seeing a stop sign or turn signal or someone trying to merge. And our kids are constantly watching those choices and those of strangers. It’s so easy that we forget that those moments are also the easy ones to witness to a deeper truth, a way of life that puts others first over and over, a way that says we are loved first and choose to love others. Those are the countless opportunities we have to point to that way of life and draw others to that light, to inspire them and make them curious.
This week, keep your eyes open. You’ll encounter dozens of moments to let someone pass you in line, a break in traffic, a door held, a kindness shown, a comment or comeback you don’t say, or maybe speaking up when something wrong is suggested. We light up the darkness one spark at a time. Shine through this week every chance you get. Light up the darkness.