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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Flicker

Back a few weeks ago, I walked into the house from work to catch one of my kids standing in the pantry. Now, that's not an unfamiliar place for them after school, so I didn't think much about it. As I made my way through the den toward the bedroom, Abby caught me out of the corner of her eye. "Dad, you've got to do something about this light bulb." Before she could finish, Harrison chimed in from upstairs on the computer, "Oh my word, yes! That thing drives me crazy."

I knew instantly what they were talking about. Lisa had mentioned it to me a couple of days before. The fluorescent light at the top of the pantry was flickering, a sure sign the bulb was going bad and about to go out. In the mean time, all it did was flicker--annoyingly. So, as you stood there trying to examine the shelves for what you were looking for, you were going crazy with the inconsistent flickering of a light gone bad.

That story came to my mind a few minutes ago as I looked at a verse sitting on my desk:
You are the light of the world....let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14, 16 NIV

Rather than resolutions this time of year, maybe what we should ask ourselves is "Who do I really want to be? What is it that really matters most to me? What kind of relationships do I want? What behaviors do I desire in my life? What do I want to be known for at the end of my life? How can I live with no regrets?" These are the kinds of questions that lead us to real, permanent change. The kind of change that allows your light to be more permanent, displaying God's grace consistently. Not a flickering annoyance to a world that is watching. I want to close with some words from Billy Graham that a friend shared with me this morning.

“With the New Year before us let us prepare ourselves for spiritual battle. Let Christ be more than mere sentiment. Away with pretense and half-heartedness. Away with compromises and defections. Away with faith that awakens only on holidays. Away with faith that is as flimsy and as seasonable as tinsel. These are days of emergency. The trumpet call is sounding. He that puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God. Let’s put our lives on the line for Jesus Christ. Nothing short of this will do.”

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