Emergency Light

March 25, 1998
by Ruth McCowan

John 8:12 – When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

This is the theme for the Women's Cursillo Weekend on Vancouver Island, March 26-29, except we shortened it a bit to "Jesus is the Light of Life". Since I am on the leadership team for the weekend, I was on my way to a team meeting with a carload of other women who were also leaders for the weekend. It was very dark, and the road we were following was unfamiliar to most of us, and it was very windy. As we followed the curve on the road, we heard what sounded like a firecracker, we saw a flash of light, and then we were left in total darkness, except for the headlights on the car. There were no other lights anywhere — it was a complete power outage. As we went around the next curve in the road, we noticed hydro lines on the road, which we were able to go around. It wasn't till we arrived at the home where we are going that I realized the irony of the whole situation. Here we were, a group of ladies, meeting to plan and discuss a weekend about Jesus being the Light of Life and we were sitting around by candlelight. It is at times like those that we really learn how much we do take for granted — like electricity. Fortunately, for us it was only temporary and we were able to continue with our plans — listening to talks that the ladies had prepared for the weekend!

Another irony — I was preparing a service for that Sunday on the Transfiguration of our Lord and how we are called to "shine" for him. As I thought about that experience and the theme for the service, my thoughts were directed to something we have in our house. Because we live in an "earthquake zone", we have what is called an emergency light. It is a small light that you plug into the wall and when the electricity is on, it is being charged, but when the electricity goes off (in a power outage) the light comes on! As I thought about it, I realized that it was like our faith in God. When we are having a really good day and everything seems to be connecting, often we're not even aware of God's light, but on those days when everything seems to be going wrong — it's like we've been unplugged — that's when we notice God's Light in our life. He is our (emergency) Light of Life!

Prayer: God of light, we thank you that your light is always there when we feel like we've been unplugged. We thank you that, when we don't feel like shining, you do not give up on us. Help us to "shine" for you so that others might be guided to your love in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

About the author:

Ruth McCowan <rbmccowan@shaw.ca>
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

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