“It’s time to go. Because, the thing is, we were never meant to stay here forever.”
funny thing is: those words seem to fit more circumstances than I realize…
Most recently I spoke them as the New York State ABY Convention came to a close. I wasn’t being heartless. Believe me, I felt the weight of those words too.
Do you have those times that you just don’t want to come to an end? The moments you wish could last forever? I’m smiling now because as I typed those words I stopped.. stopped to reflect and a flood of memories came back of times so sweet, so powerful, so perfect that I didn’t want them to end.
But they do… in fact, they were meant to.
Two weekends ago as youth, college students and adults from across New York State gathered under the theme of Shine Your Light, we came to the moment where it had to end.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
The weekend was as powerful as we could have hoped and more. Because when you gather so many believers together as we come together in fellowship, ministry, evangelism, discipleship, worship and prayer… well the light of Christ shines brightly… and who wants to leave that moment? But we had to. I did offer that if anyone was independently wealthy and wanted to buy the hotel/convention center then we could just stay, but alas, no one stepped forward. 😉 So, as wonderful as our time together had been, it was time to move beyond that moment to the moment we’d been preparing for all weekend: shining our light.
I’ve written about the light of Christ, about shining for him, over and over again… because those basic truths are so powerful. Perhaps its because it speaks to those deep needs we all have for the times when those mighty moments of fellowship come in heart-bonding unity, and when the Word is spoken moments of life-changing evangelism occur, and when eye-opening discipleship rocks your world, and when worship is so sweet as we praise and glorify God, and as we join together in deep moments of prayer… you don’t want that to end.
Because in those times all the darkness fades away as a greater glimpse into the wonderful, perfect life-giving light of Christ is revealed.
and who would want to leave that?
But we weren’t meant to stay there forever. We were meant to go out and shine the light of Christ, the life-giving light to the world. We were meant to take that light so others could find the hope, love, mercy, and saving grace of God in their life.
It means we have to leave that place…
And that isn’t easy. It isn’t comfortable. It doesn’t feel safe. Sometimes it doesn’t feel right. The journey can feel lonely. It isn’t the same as shining together.
Jesus tells us to let our light shine so that others may see and glorify God.
We could ask ourselves: Where am I shining?
But maybe we need to ask: Where am I called to shine?
All too often my answer to those questions do not match. Because where I like to shine, where is easy to shine, where it is comfortable to shine is often where it is already bright. And that’s great… unless God is calling me to shine the life-giving light of Christ in the darkness…
Where is God calling you to shine?