Musings August 19, 2020
14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in Go; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
1 John 1:5-7 GNB
“Now the message that we have heard from his Son and announce is this: God is light, and there is no darkness at all in him. If, then, we say that we have fellowship with him, yet at the same time live in the darkness, we are lying both in our words and in our actions. But if we live in the light — just as he is in the light — then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from every sin.”
Most of you are probably familiar with Robert Fulghum. If his name doesn’t immediately ring a bell then his first book All I Ever Needed to Learn I Learned in Kindergarten certainly does. It was on the New York Times bestseller list for over two years.
Fulghum has led an interesting life. He was born in 1937, and grew up in Waco, Texas. In his youth he worked as a ditch-digger, newspaper carrier, ranch hand, and singing cowboy. After college and a brief career with IBM, returned to graduate school to complete a degree in theology. For 22 years he served as a Unitarian parish minister in the Pacific Northwest. His big break didn’t occur until 1988 with the publication of that famous first book.
With that big break Fulghum was suddenly in demand as a speaker. He was suddenly able to travel the world speaking at numerous conferences. Of course, one of the benefits of speaking at conferences is you also get to attend them as a participant at no cost.
Once when he was in Greece attending a conference he sat in on one of the popular seminars and tried to blend in to the audience. At the end of the presentation the teacher asked if there were any questions. Fulghum, who also is known for his humor (and sarcasm), laughingly asked the seminar leader what the meaning of life was. Everyone laughed and continued to gather their belongs to leave. But then the leader stopped them in their tracks when he responded succinctly, “I will answer your question.”
Everyone froze and then sat down not sure what they would hear next.
Then, reaching into his sport-coat pocket, the presenter pulled out a small, round mirror about the size of a quarter. He explained:
When I was a small child during World War II … one day on the road, I found the broken pieces of a mirror. A German motorcycle had been wrecked in that place. I tried to find all the pieces and put them together, but it was not possible, so I kept the largest piece. This one. And by scratching it on a stone, I made it round. I began to play with it as a toy and became fascinated by the fact that I could reflect light into dark places where the sun could never shine. It became a game for me to get light into the most inaccessible places that I could find. I kept the little mirror, and as I grew up, I would take it out at idle moments and continue the challenge of the game.
As I became a man, I grew to understand that this was not just a child’s game, but a metaphor of what I could do with my life. I came to understand that I am not the light or the source of the light. But light — be it truth or understanding or knowledge — is there, and it will only shine in many dark places if I reflect it. I am a fragment of a mirror whose whole design and shape I do not know. Nevertheless, with what I have, I can reflect light into the dark places of this world — into the dark places of human hearts — and change some things in some people. Perhaps others seeing it happen will do likewise.
This is what I am about. This is the meaning of my life.
Friends - Jesus declares again and again that he is the light of the world. With that knowledge it is clear that as Christ’s disciples we are called both to walk in that light and share the light to all the world.
Though we are not the light we are to be reflections of it. And thus our calling is to take the light into all the world so that we can live out the Great Commission by sharing the grace and peace that we have found in the light of Christ. Jesus is indeed the way, the truth, and the life and he is the light which shines in the darkness and which darkness can never overcome.
May we each reflect Christ’s light wherever we are called to go.
Have a great week.