“Let me tell you why you are here. … You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine!”
I’ve heard these well known words from Matthew for the better part of my life but what do they mean? Light? Shine? Confusing! We are each on a leadership journey. We are also each involved in our own personal ministry, altering the lives of those we interact with each day. How does Matthew’s imperative apply to these efforts?
We aren’t here to blend in. Stand out! Not as some cookie cutter automaton towing the party line but rather as the unique combination of thoughts, feelings, experiences, and skills which make you truly unique. This should be a direct guide to your leadership vision at work and in your daily personal ministry. When you look at the future through your own irreplaceable lens you will see things different than everybody else. Trust your faith to be illuminated through the actions you take.
The natural state of things is dim and grey without your contributions. It takes work to separate yourself and more to stay true to who you are meant to be. Recording artist Owl City released a song entitled Shooting Star capturing both sides of this effort.
Some key lyrics:
“Gaze into my eyes when the fire starts and fan the flame so hot it melts our hearts. All the pouring rain will try to put it out; but not this time. Let your colors burn and brightly burst into a million sparks but all dispersed and illuminate a world that’ll try to bring you down; but not this time.
When the sun goes down and the lights burn out then it’s time for you to shine. Brighter than the shooting star. So shine no matter where you are. Fill the darkest night with a brilliant light ’cause it’s time for you to shine. Brighter than a shooting star. So shine no matter where you are, tonight.
A thousand heartbeats beating time and makes this dark planet come alive. So when the lights flicker out tonight, you gotta shine.”
We are each called to be a light of faith and promise to a dimming world. That doesn’t mean we duplicate the thoughts or actions of another. There is no recipe to being you. Trust when you rely on your unique gifts you will be reflecting God in a real and personal way to your friends and community. Push away the doubters trying to drag you back and simply shine!