I saw a photo posted on Facebook that intrigued me and decided to duplicate the image. I placed a lit candle near a wall. The candle was positioned to catch the rays of the rising sun shining through a nearby east window. Like the photo on Facebook, my candle, too, cast a shadow on the wall, but, like the Facebook photo, the flame cast no shadow at all!
For me, this phenomena of the greater light of the sun shining through the lesser light of the candle flame illustrates how I’m to live my life in relationship with God. A fundamental principle of a God-centered life I’ve sought to adopt is that God is to get the credit, the glory, if you will, of anything good that comes from my life. I’m like a small lit candle that’s in a room with the bright sun shining in. People can see me, the small candle and my little flame of good, but because a far greater light is illuminating my life, God, God’s light far outshines my light.
I believe my life is lived best when people see God in me more than they see me in me. I’m not there yet, I’m still growing beyond the childish wish of “look at me, look at Dave!” and seeking to move toward a more spiritually mature position where my life is saying, “Look at God, look at Christ.”
Yes, I like affirmation. I like for people to appreciate me. It’s normal and a God-given desire to be valued by others. But I’ve discovered that there’s something better than being well thought of by others. I’ve determined I want God to get the credit for any good within me and any good I do. I want folks to be impressed with God working through me rather than having them be impressed with me.
Life is so much better and bigger when I live for the Someone who is so much better and bigger than me! The irony is that when I seek to have people be impressed by God who is working through little ol’ me instead of trying to have people be impressed with me, I feel far better about me!
I may be but a small lit candle in the world, but because I want my life to be illuminated by God any shadow of good influence I cast is because of Him. And I’m more than okay with that!
“… Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Jesus in Matthew 5:16b