I have found the days of November to be especially dark. Many days have been cloudy. And often cold. There is already snow on the ground. The chill around my torso demands an overcoat, or at least a heavy jacket.
I’ve thought of Florida, and those few years we got to walk the beach at Amelia Island. But, the thought of getting there is daunting. Nor could I do the walk, if I did get there.
Some days feel like life shutting down. I find the required masks are not for breathing. I miss regular exercise. I struggle to not be a grump. My heart longs for peace. And warmth. And joy.
And then, along comes a person. A human being smiling. Someone with a heart of laughter.
And the load lightens. I bask in that smile so freely offered. What a gift.
I realize there people who are just like that. For the most part they seem not to know that they light up the world. That they affect everyone around them. But they do, instinctively.
My wife says, “I was just born happy.” She was. She never holds a grudge. She does instinctively what Jesus tells us all to do. “Do not let the sun go down upon your anger.” Don’t take it to bed with you. Don’t seethe. Don’t submit to rage.
St. Paul says, “Whatsoever things are lovely and of good report, think about these things.”
There are so many good things, beautiful things, stirring, inspiring things in the world.
Paul Tillich, the theologian said, “Every Christian should take two weeks each year to just sit and look at the ocean.” Because it connects us with eternal things. It connects us with the world. It touches us with mystery.
In fact, almost any water will do. It is said that those fortunate enough to live near water, live longer. Water is life-giving. It feeds the soul as well as the body. What a blessing is life for those of us who love, “the land of 10,000 lakes!”
Yet, more than any of these, are the blessings of living in a world of other people. For so often – all unexpecting – they light up our lives. Their presence, their inner peace, their smiles, their laughter, their conversations, their words, their songs, their ideas, their love, their beams of light from their heart to our hearts. And so hope, and joy, and peace, and love are passed on, and multiplied in our lives.
They are simply other people. But, strangely, they are connected to THE great Person of the world. The Person of Jesus, who said “I am the Light of the world.”
What a mystery. What a wonder. A simple song we all know sings, “Shine, Jesus, shine!” And those who follow Him, are ignited by Him. And shine out, as He does, into our dark world, and our down days, and gives us – always – light for going on.
So, when days seem dark to you, look for the light in the persons who may pass near you. You may find they have been sent by the One who is Light, and has called you, too, to be light.
Bless you. And, the world around you.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES