Lights On, Lights Off

The older I get the more I feel like technology is maybe taking over too many activities in our daily lives.  Some things, of course, are good; some others, maybe not so much.  I guess a lot of how much it’s appreciated depends on whether it is reliable or not.  I don’t trust the auto-correct on my phone’s texting feature.  It puts words in my message that I don’t intend to say.  I’ve learned to always re-read my message before I send it.

Other technological advances just simply take the fun out of doing things the old-fashioned way.  My Dad has always burned firewood.  It’s a lot of work to have to go out and cut down a tree, cut it up into pieces small enough to fit into the stove and haul it to the shelter.  Then someone has to keep the wood pile stocked, ready to put in the stove.  It’s a lot of work but worth it.  The fire burning in the stove always seems to me to feel warmer than other types of heating systems.  When the power goes out, the stove not only provides heat but can be used to cook on.  Now, people just push a button and flames magically start burning fake logs.  What fun is there in that? 

The office I work in recently moved to a new location.  One of the new and modern features is the motion sensors on all of the light switches.  You simply have to walk into a room and the light comes on.  Sounds good.  When it works.  Since it is a new system, a lot of the timers are not set right.  I was standing at my filing cabinet and since I was standing still as I was thumbing through some files, the light kept going off every few seconds.  I’d have to wave my arms to get the light to come on.  It would stay on a couple seconds and go off again.

There were some lights that would not go off at all unless you turn them off at the switch.  And there are some that won’t come on at all without touching the switch.  We figured out that on some we even had to turn the breakers in the electrical box off and back on to get them to work.  Everyone is still trying to work out all the bugs. 

When I am sitting at my desk working on the computer, the monitor is in between me and the sensor on the light switch.  The timer is now set on 20 minutes before it will go off, so if I sit there working for that long the light goes off.  I’ve decided that’s my cue to get up and move.  Best ergonomic office feature yet – a reminder to move.  If I don’t want to stop working at that moment, once again I have to wave my arms around to get the light to come back on.

I remember when I was small that my grandparents lived in a house that had a single light bulb in the middle of each room and to turn the light on you had to pull the chain coming down from it.  If it was dark when you entered the room you would just walk to where you thought the overhead light was and start waving your arm around until you finally felt the chain you needed to pull.  The motion sensitive lights in my office remind me of that.  I guess I just need to think of it as getting exercise when I have to wave my arms around.  It just feels silly having to do it.

When I get ready to leave for the day, I walk around and turn the lights off at the switch.  Yes, I know they will eventually turn themselves off, but I’m old-fashioned enough that I don’t like leaving lights on if there’s no reason for them to be on.  However, once you manually turn the lights off, if you re-enter that room before the timer has reset, the light doesn’t come on automatically anymore.  You have to turn it on at the switch.  I just don’t understand why someone wants to make something as simple as turning a light switch on and off so difficult.

Jesus said that we, as believers, are to be the light of the world.  We are to live our lives in such a way that it directs people toward Christ.  Sometimes I think we act like those high-tech lighting systems.  We “come on” when someone is around, but when we sense no one is looking at us any longer, we “turn off.”  We are not supposed to be on again, off again Christians.  We are supposed to be consistently shining our light, showing others the love of Christ.

Some Christians are like the lights in my office that are not working correctly.  They rely on others, a friend or preacher or music, to get them going or “turn” them on.  It’s like they are not connected properly to the Source of light.  We need to make sure our spiritual “breaker box” is in proper working order.  We need to keep our hearts in tune with God through communion with Him in prayer and Bible study.

Some are like the lights on the timers.  When something gets in between me and the sensor on the switch, the light goes off.  When we allow the things of the world to bog us down, to get in between us and our Lord, our light cannot be seen.  It takes us getting up and moving back toward God to once again to be able to shine for Him in this dark world.

The lights at my grandparent’s home are like the unbeliever.  When the Holy Spirit starts drawing them, they have to respond.  They need to go before God waving their arms in surrender and reaching toward Him.  Christ then puts His light in their hearts and they will “stay on.”

Then there are those who do consistently live a godly life, striving to allow God to always shine through all they do.  That’s what I want to be like.  I want to live so that the light always shines until God, at His appointed time, decides to “turn off” my light here on earth and allow me to live forever where there is no more darkness.  And no more light switches.

Matthew 5:16  (NKJV)

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Revelation 21:22-24  (NKJV)  (The Glory of the New Jerusalem)

22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.

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