The first thing that you should notice from my title is that I didn’t use the common phrase of “let your light shine”.

While I do believe that there are certainly times when it is important to play a passive role, I am passionate about the active part that we can play in the lives of those that we have been entrusted with.

Each of us has been blessed with a gift that is meant to be shared with the world. Maybe that world consists of just our family or maybe it encompasses a more global community, but whatever it looks like, it is important for you to discover what your purpose is and where it is meant to be used.

Really, isn’t that what we are all looking for? Purpose brings meaning and meaning brings contentment and joy. I have spoken about purpose and meaning in some of my other articles where I indicated that I believed that existence in itself is meaning enough, so don’t’ get carried away with thinking that you have to have this grand purpose in order to have meaning.

Recently I attended a funeral for an 88 year old Grandmother who left a meaningful legacy of 70 family descendants. I was one of just four people in the service who were not family members and was so moved by the love and warmth that she had provided all her life. She played an active role in shining her light or gift on her family by baking biscuits and gravy, playing cards and games with the kids, inviting the grandkids to spend the summer with her, etc. It was clear to me that she was the center point of that family because people are naturally drawn to the light. Just like the ship looking for the lighthouse, we too are searching for those who can shine a little in our lives as well.

Obviously we are all going to go through times in our lives where the darkness seems to overwhelm us and shining a light can be the furthest thing from our minds. . So how do you find your way again once the darkness has set in? First, it is times like these that we need to allow others to comfort and enlighten us. Second, we must make the decision to look forward again. If we think about how a ship makes its way out on the ocean to its destination we may find some guidance.

The course has to be charted before the journey can begin. Having a focal point is crucial to moving forward on our voyage. Now that doesn’t guarantee that the ship won’t go off course, but any navigator will tell you that the course has to be checked and re-charted many times along the journey. Don’t we all feel like we go off the path sometimes due to unforeseen events in our lives? So should we just let the waves of life carry us aimlessly wherever they want to? No! We have to readjust the rudder, open the sails, and chart a new course.

After Andy relocated to Heaven, my path looked bleak and the future seemed non-existent, but thanks to the bright light of my God and the ever shining love of my friends, I made the decision to shine my light again. Interestingly enough, my light is much brighter and more colorful now, but I first had to make the decision to turn it back on.