OK, most of you probably know by now that I’m a real night owl. Some of the most productive moments in my day occur between 11:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. I say that just to acknowledge the fact that, yes, I should be heading to bed as of this writing, but I just have to share something with you.
Don’t you just love it when God speaks to you through the most seemingly insignificant and every-day, run-of-the-mill stuff of life? I do — regardless of whether it’s a message I really want to hear. Something about those revelations just speaks to my heart as if to say, “Garrick, you belong to Me, and I care enough about you that I don’t want you to miss this!” The God of the universe in just a matter of a few seconds delivers a generous helping of knowledge that one can’t help but be a bit blown away.
I don’t know about you, but there are certain tasks around the house that I enjoy more than others. If I’m completely honest, I tend to let a lot of little things slide — especially when I’m consumed by the details of major projects at the church. One of the tasks I find myself ignoring is that of replacing light bulbs. For some reason our cars and our house love to eat light bulbs. Whether it’s tail lights, headlights, incandescent lights or fluorescent ones, we get plenty of opportunities to change bulbs in this household.
Well, one day last week I came in to find that not only was one of the long fluorescent bulbs out, it was also broken. This happened to be a fixture that I quite honestly know very little about. Michelle and I looked at it for a while but couldn’t figure it out. Not all that consciously, I kind of put that little project on hold — you know, waiting for just the right time when the moon and stars align and the family and work calendars are completely in sync. Like that ever happens. As a result of that decision — a.k.a., bad choice — we had to leave the kitchen light off all weekend. It wasn’t too big of a deal. We just used the light over the eating area as our sole source of light. I guess you could say that there was ambient lighting in the actual kitchen, but I’m not sure a Vent-A-Hood light and that wimpy little light on the fridge qualify for mood lighting.
Fast forward to Tuesday. I came in from the office, knowing I’d have just enough time to watch a little news and enjoy dinner with the family before heading out to puppy training class with Maggie. When I entered from the garage and stepped into the house, I was nearly blinded by the light in the kitchen. It seems that while I was slaving away at the office, the ‘light bulb fairy’ paid a visit. She apparently found a do-it-yourself video on YouTube to guide her through the process of fixing the broken light and installing the new bulbs.
Now you know how it is when you replace a bulb. It always seems brighter because you get used to it being a little more dim. But when I came in on Tuesday afternoon, the kitchen was lit up like the sun at high noon! I told Michelle that our kitchen now has better lighting than the operating room during my last surgery. You see, not only had we become used to the lesser light from the broken bulb, but we had also failed to notice that another part of the light was burned out.
As I thought about this today, I just kept feeling God say to me, “This is how your life is when you leave Me out . . . when you put Me on hold. You just get so accustomed to the dimly-lit room that you fail to notice the crumbs, the stains, the debris from the chaos of your busy life.”
I’ve never really felt convicted by a light fixture before — and I’m pretty sure that’s not exactly the source of my conviction now. But God used this little every-day matter to grab my attention. Several life applications come to mind. Failure to take immediate action when we realize there’s a disconnect between us and God can have profound consequences:
- We risk minimizing rather than resolving the problem. This is a trap that comes in the form of rationalizing the problem or pretending that it will just magically take care of itself with no energy or effort from us required. The truth is that in time our kitchen was only going to get darker, making everything more difficult.
- We risk adapting to rather than responding to the situation. Such passive adaptation can be purely the result of indifference. However, left unchecked, it can prove dangerous and costly. Things could easily go from misreading a spice bottle to severely cutting a hand.
- We risk settling for less rather than expecting His best. So many of the ways God blesses us are directly related to the way we prepare our hearts. In the case of a poorly lit kitchen, it wouldn’t take long to experience a really bad-tasting dish, all because we misread the recipe.
Genesis 1:3 says, “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” (ESV) God wants us to have light both physically and spiritually.
Whatever is causing poor visibility in your spiritual life, let this be a reminder to do whatever it takes to get back on track now so you won’t have to pay a much higher price later. God has given us the Word to illumine our path — and has put the light of Christ in our hearts. May we never ever get comfortable living in darkness when He has called us to shine with His marvelous light.
If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s Brandon Heath’s very cool video of his song, “The Light In Me.”
IT’S YOUR TURN!
What is God teaching you lately through the ordinary things of life?