I heard it so many times when I was growing up that, frankly, I got tired of hearing it. It was the same thing all the time. I would hear phrases like “You will never truly be able to understand sacrificial love until you are married and have children.” Or “When you have children you will be amazed at what they can teach you.”
Hearing these things all the time made me want to run away from those who were continually telling me those things. I would think to myself, “I know plenty. There isn’t anything that a baby can teach me.” Then, I grew up, got married, had children, and suddenly, all those things make sense. (This is my humble admission of childhood pride and arrogance.)
I find that most of my ideas for sermons, blogs, devotionals, and my personal meditation come from being around my children. It is incredible the things they say, and the things they do that will make you think. A few weeks ago on Sunday morning, my wife and I had been hit hard with a stomach bug and were unable to make it for worship, as we were laying around the house early that morning, my daughter who is 2 came out of her room with her shoes on, looked at me like I was crazy for laying on the couch and said “Daddy! Get up! Time for church!” Her excitement for the Lord’s day brought a smile to my face even while feeling miserable, it was so heart warming to see that even though there had been no mention of getting ready for Bible class that morning, she knew where we should be.
The most recent lesson she taught me was profound. My family was enjoying a nice road trip one day this past week. As we were cruising down the road, my wife started singing “church songs” with our children. She was singing “This little light of mine.” It was so good to listen to them sing. This song is a favorite of both of my children. When the song was over, my daughter raised her voice and her finger up in the air and said “Shine, shine, mommy!” with a smile on my face I said “we already finished shining” to which she responded matter-of-factly “No! Not finished shining!”
I wonder how often we fall into the mindset that we are “finished shining.”
- I came to Bible class AND worship twice this Sunday, I’m finished shining.
- God used me to bring someone to Christ last year through prayer and study, I’m finished shining.
- I went on a door knocking campaign with my home congregation, I’m finished shining.
- I lead a devotional with my family once already this week, I’m finished shining.
- I taught Bible class for the last 2 quarters, I’m finished shining.
- I read my Bible all the way through last year, I’m finished shining.
As we go throughout our busy lives we have so much going on. We often feel burdened, we often feel as though we need a break. Maybe we need to take a break. It would probably be good to miss a ball game, to miss a concert, to miss an evening out on the town, to cut out some of the overtime we have been working, to let the yard work wait another day. Sometimes, we need a break. But always remember, no matter how tired, no matter how busy, we are never “finished shining.”
Mat 5:13-16 ESV “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. (14) “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. (15) Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. (16) In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.