Visiting the Battery Point lighthouse in California, I thought of Jesus words, “You are the light of the world.” Our tour guide told us of the old keepers, one who lived there for forty years and raised his family. That daily routine and the isolation must have been enough to drive a person to distraction. “Sick day, or I’m bored of this job day”, you say, that would put someone’s life at risk.
Keeping the light on, trimming the wicks, and lifting the weights defined the pattern of one’s life. The weights, wound every 8 hours, worked much like the mechanism on an old grandfather clock, turning the light “automatically.” The lighthouse we visited in Crescent City, CA still has a volunteer keeper but the task is less demanding with an automated halogen bulb. Still, to volunteer for a month at an old lighthouse, there is a three-year waiting list.
When Jesus said, “You are the light of the world;” he was alluding to one of those old style oil lamps. The flame within us is God’s love, and it is ours to receive from Him and to share it. We did not create the fire but we can neglect it and someone will miss it when it is gone.
Keeping the light involves the simplicity of allowing our life and routine to revolve around one great purpose.
A re-orientation of our life is discovered when we realize that it is a calling to be a light for Jesus. God does not require always-great things from us, but he is pleased with our faithfulness. Trimming the light within daily, through constant connection with God’s loving presence, we are living as a light.
“Deep within us all, there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center, a speaking Voice, to which we may continuously return. Eternity is at our hearts, pressing upon our time-torn lives, warming us with intimations of an astounding destiny, calling us home unto itself. Yielding to these persuasions, gladly committing ourselves in body and soul, utterly and completely, to the Light Within, is the beginning of true life. It is a dynamic center, a creative Life that presses to birth within us. It is a Light Within which illumines the face of God and casts new shadows and new glories upon the face of humanity.” Thomas Kelly – A Testament to Devotion.