Friday, December 14, 2012


A member of a church I used to pastor told me a story about her childhood.  She was raised in a small town and most of the people in town attended the only church there.  Once every year the church would have a candle-light service.  (I believe it was New Year's Eve.)  At the close of the service all the people would file out and walk toward home, carefully holding their burning candles.  Some folks' candles would of course go out even before they left the building; others' candles would blow out as soon as they stepped outside; others' candles would go out on the way home; and, some would make it all the way home with their candles still lit.  But sooner or later everyone's candles would go out.

It seems that this is often, maybe usually, the way our spiritual life is.  We get our "candles lit" through some exciting, stimulating or uplifting event.  It may be a moving worship service or an old-fashioned "revival meeting"; it may be a weekend retreat; or a seminar; or we may take a Bible class or read an uplifting book.  But sooner or later our candles flicker and go out and we must wait for the next event, relight and start the process over.  Our lives are a series of highs and lows.  But should our lives be that way?  Should we be (forgive me for mixing my metaphors) "spiritual junkies" always waiting for and searching for the next high, hoping it'll be better and longer lasting than the previous?

Or is there some way we can keep the candle burning?

"Your word is a lamp for my feet
and a light for my path."
Psalm 119:105

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This one reminded me of how a book comes out that gets a lot of attention and "you must get that book, it will change your life" comments. We tend to live, even thrive, on emotions rather than the truth of God's Book.