John 8:12 (New International Version)
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.”
A great story from one of America's greatest story-tellers, Abraham Lincoln, was related by the president during those anxious days of the American Civil War. A delegation of well-meaning patriots tried to impress upon the president the gravity of the war. They implied that his administration was neither as wise nor good as it ought to be. He listened carefully, then responded with a memorable anecdote.
He told them that he once had a neighbor who found himself in a tight situation. He was traveling home one dark and rainy night. There were few bridges in the country and he came to a stream that he would have to ford. But because of the darkness and the rain, he couldn't see well enough to know just where to cross.
Lightning flashed and he saw his way for the briefest moment. But the man was perplexed because there seemed to be more thunder than lightning. He was convinced that every lightning flash was followed by several loud peals of thunder. The poor man just stood at the edge of the stream in his confusion about how to proceed. He finally prayed, "O Lord, if it is just the same to you, give me more light and less noise."
The delegation clearly got the point that the president needed more solutions and less complaining - more light and less noise.
Some people are more like light and others are more like noise.
Some people shed light on solutions. Others only make a din about the way things are.
Some people help us to see the situation more clearly. Others just sound off about who's to blame.
Some people show a better way. Others only clamor about the present course of action.
Some people offer to help. Others just wail about the problem.
The sun rises every morning and sheds light -- vanquishing the night's darkness. The rooster also rises every morning... and makes noise -- neither shedding light nor dispelling the darkness.
What could your work environment, your family or your life be like if everyone were like the sun rather than the rooster? What if we all decided to contribute to the light?
Dear Lord we pray that we would be part of the light rather than the noise. We want to show the light that you have given to us to the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.