The following inspiring allegorical story by Max Lucado contains a very important lesson for everyone God has called to be a light in the world.
A few nights ago a peculiar thing happened. An electrical storm caused a blackout in our neighborhood. When the lights went out I felt my way through the darkness into the storage closet where we keep the candles for nights like this… I took my match and lit four of them. I was turning to leave with the large candle in my hand when I heard a voice, “Now, hold it right there.” “Who said that?” “I did.” The voice was near my hand. “Who are you? What are you?” “I’m a candle.” I lifted up the candle to take a closer look. You won’t believe what I saw. There was a tiny face in the wax… a moving, functioning, flesh-like face full of expression and life. “Don’t take me out of here!” “What?” “I said, Don’t take me out of this room.” “What do you mean? I have to take you out. You’re a candle. Your job is to give light. It’s dark out there.” “But you can’t take me out. I’m not ready,” the candle explained with pleading eyes. “I need more preparation.” I couldn’t believe my ears. “More preparation?” “Yeah, I’ve decided I need to research this job of light-giving so I won’t go out and make a bunch of mistakes. You’d be surprised how distorted the glow of an untrained candle can be…” “All right then,” I said, “You’re not the only candle on the shelf. I’ll blow you out and take the others!” But just as I got my cheeks full of air, I heard other voices. “We aren’t going either!” … I turned around and looked at the three other candles… “You are candles and your job is to light dark places!” “Well, that may be what you think,” said the candle on the far left… “You may think we have to go, but I’m busy… I’m meditating on the importance of light. It’s really enlightening”… “And you other two,” I asked, “are you going to stay in here as well?” A short, fat purple candle with plump cheeks that reminded me of Santa Claus spoke up. “I’m waiting to get my life together. I’m not stable enough.” The last candle had a female voice, very pleasant to the ear. “I’d like to help,” she explained, “but lighting the darkness is not my gift… I’m a singer, I sing to other candles to encourage them to burn more brightly.” …She began a rendition of “This Little Light of Mine”… The other three joined in, filling the storage room with singing… I took a step back and considered the absurdity of it all. Four perfectly healthy candles singing to each other about light, but refusing to come out of the closet.
An important question to ask ourselves:
When was the last time you presented the good news of salvation to someone? … Why not step out, and let your light shine for Jesus today