Lighthouses Have Shadows

The other evening, I got caught up watching a show on the Exxon Valdez oil spoil from 1989. I watched the video clips of the oil-covered birds, fish and fresh-water vegetation. I saw the map that drew out the impact of one man’s lack of focus. The ship had run aground because it was five miles off the route the captain should have beeen following. The repercussions that followed were detrimental to the lives of so many. It’s amazing what will happen when we stop considering the light out in front to be insignificant.

The way I see it, jagged rocks, devastating reefs, and shallow waters are never too far away. The lighthouse for each and every one of us is suppose to be Jesus Christ. (Remember the song “This little light of mine” (And a side note, that song is lacking)). But instead, we have been given the opportunity to replace that beacon of light with things of this world; I don’t just mean possessions, status, or appearance. Over the last few months, I feel like I have far too many moments of walking on the other side of my God’s lighthouse. Instead of letting Him be the light unto my path, I start stumbling along with a candle of fear, worry, anxiety, frustration, anger, fatigue, and a spirit of give up. If I continue to live as such, I might as well kick God to the curb along with His purpose for my life.

Easrlier today, I saw the title of an article that read,”Rules That Warren Buffet Lives By.” Man, why bother mentioning God, or any other diety for that matter, when you have it all. If he needs some hope, he goes out and buys it. The man has it all, dude. And yet, he and I are both walkin’ out of here with the same amount. I’m not saying that success isn’t warranted. The problems begin when said success replaces what was to be the joy and hope in one’s life.

And then there’s the opposite side of Mr. Buffet. Job loss, hunger, loneliness, and lack of understanding. A couple of days ago, I was working on some paperwork for unemployment and the Cobra insurance. I was had that sense of feeling overwhelmed starting to creep over me. (Why, as Christians, do we sometimes want to look up through the sky and basically shake our fists at God? Isn’t the God we proclaim to love and follow living within our hearts. Guess next time I want to look up, I’ll choose to look inward instead.) Not even realizing what was going on around me, Logan had come in and sat in the seat near me. With his awesome little five year-old voice, he says, “Daddy.” “Yeah, Logan.” “Um, when are you gonna go back to work?” Inside my very fragile existence, my first instinct was to take his words as daggers to an open wound. Then, I wanted to be upset with the whole mess. But then, as if God was saying, “Wait for it…Wait for it.” (And by the way, my first-born is great at delivering the right line at the right time.) I had made the statement, “I hope to go back to work soon, Buddy.” He paused to take in my response, looked at me, and said, “Oh.” I asked him why he was asking. By this time, I had put the pen down; he had my attention. And with his dark brown eyes showing true compassion he replies, “Cause when you do, I’m really gonna miss you and hanging out with you and helping you out with the kids.” And therein was my lighthouse moment.

I’m not the only one struggling. I’m not the only one hurting. I recognize, daily, that I am in urgent need of those in that are in the same race as I. I am tired of being recognized at the pharmacy. I am tired of the type of phone call I will be making Wednesday morning. I am tired of being the me of old. As the title of the Chris Tomlin song says, we were “Made To Worship.” So, tonight, I am closing out the day not down and out, but rather, encouraged, strengthened, and inspired to pursue a God that is always chasing after me, no matter the shadows I choose to follow.

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