He and his family went on fun tent-camping weekend.  They were equipped with headlamps to help guide their paths at night.   Headlamps have several advantages over conventional flashlights.  They are hands free, and you can direct the beam with the turn of your head. 

One slight disadvantage, however.  The East Texas woods are teeming with light-seeking insects.  The headlamp beam drew them in, leaving the family with a mouthful of bugs. 

This made me wonder, “Well why in the world are bugs attracted to light anyway?”  I consulted the oracle of our times (Google) and learned that scientists don’t really know, but they suggest a couple of theories:

– Some insects navigate by the position of the sun and moon.  Artificial light confuses them, so they end up flying around in circles trying to figure it out. 

– Some insects need light to see, so rather than flying blind in the dark, they circle the light.   Silly bugs!

Both theories have this in common: a bug needs light to find its way.

People aren’t much different!  Hey, I have been in the belly of Carlsbad Caverns when they turned off the lights.  It was so dark I couldn’t find myself.  How relieved I was when they flipped on the light switch.  I promptly looked for the nearest exit.   

We need light to find our way.  I am thinking that’s what Jesus had in mind when he called us “lights.”   He said, “You are the light of the world.”  Matthew 5:14. We are essentially headlamps in the dark of night.

The light that emits from us, is the life of God lived out in our everyday circumstances.   The creatures of the night are drawn to the light we emit.  

It’s true! I worked at a camp with a couple that had a wonderful Christ centered marriage.  Their love and service and affection for each other were apparent.  Which is why the high school campers seemed to always end up in the cabin of that couple when they had free time.

I think of the thief that was crucified with Jesus.  He was initially hateful – but the light that hung from that crossbeam was so compelling that the thief asked to join Jesus in His Kingdom. 

You may have many friends and family members who have swept the message of Christ aside.  And yet, when they are facing difficulties – cancer, a lost job, financial crisis – who do they call and ask to pray?    

People are drawn to our light.  For some it’s obvious while others watch us from the corner of their eye. 

Why are they drawn to our light?   Same as our bug buddies – it’s really dark out there and they need the light to navigate.

They want to see examples of people that are able to make life work.   They want to know how to cope with Covid restrictions when they have 2 jobs, 4 kids and no family to help them. They want to know how to stay married in a culture that pulls them apart.

They want to know how to raise healthy kids, when they aren’t sure they can trust the school they attend.  They want to have peace amid the chaos and hope when the future is cloudy. 

They need our light which is why Jesus also said, “Let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven.”

He tells us to “show off.”   OK that doesn’t sound right.  How about this. “Shine off.”  Make sure your light is elevated (as on a hill or a lampstand).  Bring your light to the places that need to be illuminated. 

Take it to the school board meeting and PTA gatherings.  Take it to the local political party committee meeting.  Shine at work and in the neighborhood, and at the nearby nursing home, and through a prison ministry.  

Shine!  Our job is just to shine – the light will draw them!

A PRAYER: Lord this introvert has a hard time with this.  Help me, help us all to shine. 

This has been Jim Johnson and pickleheavenpress.com

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you

All references are from the (NET Bible ®)