Tuesday, October 4

Dim and Flicker

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. "--Matthew 5:14-15

Whenever I plug in my Rowenta iron, or my husband plugs in his Mac powerbook in the living room, our torchiere lamp dims and flickers a bit. At first I hardly noticed it. Lately, however, the flickering has gotten substantially worse. We called our apartment maintenance guy and he offered to replace the outlet and face plate. He fixed it all right. Now the lamp doesn't just dim, it goes completely dark at odd intervals. Even more disconcerting is the fact that the overhead light by the linen closet is behaving in much the same way. Apparently the problem lies a bit deeper than just the wall outlet.

There are times when we Christians, whom Jesus calls "the light of the world," don't emit as much light as we should. We dim and flicker during those times when our power source isn't a steady supply. For all intents and purposes, we are "plugged in"--we go to church and sing along with the worship service--but on the deepest level, the spiritual electrons just aren't flowing. This may happen for a variety of reasons.

When we grow lax in the amount of time we spend with God, we risk losing our spiritual luminescence. Failure to communicate with Him through Bible reading and prayer is a recipe for disaster. The longer we go without these things, the more corroded our connection to Him can become. Soon the enemy has an opportunity to overload our circuits, so to speak, and burn right through our ineffective wiring.

All of us go through periods where we are only just "plugged in" and not actively engaging in meaningful fellowship or communion. However, if we wait until we actually feel like participating in such activities, our Christian lights will most certainly flicker and dim. When I feel overwhelmed to the point of not wanting to do much of anything, let along get dressed and go to church, I remind myself that it's okay if I want to just put my light on an automatic timer for a little while. It is important to at least go through the motions of being at church, even if I'm not entirely "turned on" by the experience.

It's okay to dim and flicker, so long as we're not content to stay that way. The underlying spiritual problem should be addressed and any faulty wiring replaced as necessary. The world will do its best to try to put out our light; let's not let that happen any sooner than it needs to because of improper wiring or a bad connection to the power source.

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