I was at a wedding yesterday and one of the verses read during the ceremony was the same one my wife and I based our service on 23 years ago:
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
The verses from our wedding, in this context, tied with circumstances of this past summer reminds me that my life on Earth is not solely for me to enjoy. I have a purpose; a calling; there is a plan for my life that may include discomfort, sometimes pain.
That discomfort and pain may be in stead of discomfort and pain of others, it may be discomfort and pain leading to personal growth. It may even be discomfort and pain that we cannot for the life of us understand.
These thoughts brought up a scene from LORD OF THE RINGS. When Gondor is besieged by the armies of the Dark Lord, Sauron, Pippin climbs to the tower and lights the signal fires that call Rohan. Once it is lit, that signal goes “around the world” and the Riders of Rohan see the message. It is still up to them to respond, but they can do nothing else. They ride to Gondor’s aid and help defeat Sauron’s armies. This costs them dearly – even to the death of their king, Theoden.
Letting the light shine in the world is my job, my purpose, my calling and my plan. It’s the purpose, calling and plan my wife and I took up when we married. It’s my responsibility to make sure the fires are maintained, lit and when others light the fire as a call for help, it’s my purpose and calling to respond, no matter how difficult or painful.