Fireworks and Lightbulbs
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FIREWORKS AND LIGHTBULBS
I expected to see fireworks. What I got was much more subtle. Instead of a bright streak of light I got a halogen light bulb, slow to warm up but once it does, then it glows as bright as the momentary flash of fireworks.
The whole weekend was focused on spending time with Christ. For that short period of time I was able to set aside my worldly concerns and just be alone with Christ. I talked and wrote a lot and Christ listened.
At first I was disappointed. Why didnít God speak to me? But, slowly as the time passed after the weekend, I realized he didnít talk to me because it wasnít his turn. It was mine. He wanted to listen to me and let me face my fears, my illusions, and my expectations.
God was patient with me. I stood in a line waiting for reconciliation. I waffled back and forth, giving my fears and misgivings more credence than they deserved. I kept asking, ďWhy donít I just get out of this line? No one is forcing me to stand here. I should just go. Nobody will know.Ē Somebody held me in that line, kept nudging me to move forward and face God and myself.
While standing in this line I wrote. This is a short meditation that I wrote while I fearfully stood waiting in that line:
Lord, give me the strength to move forward,
To stay on this path we have chosen.
Lord give me the words.
Show me the way.
Christ be my light.
And the line moves,
One step closer.
Christ be my light,
Christ be my light.
Later, after I had said my penance, after standing in that line to the not so bitter end and I spoke to the priest, I felt a sense of forgiveness, a sense of peace. Again not fireworks but the soft glow of the halogen light bulb.
I went to a workshop on centering prayer, again expecting some great flash of light and again I was disappointed when my halogen light sputtered again. I struggled with the exercise. I didnít feel as if I had been successful. After I left the room and really thought about the exercise I realized that I had been successful. If only for a few seconds I had shared the silence with God. Again I felt a sense of peace and union with God.
In the weeks since the retreat I have felt the disappointment of no fireworks and the excitement of the halogen light bulb that has finally warmed up. The path with Christ has not been easy. While I was on retreat I was able to focus on myself. This time supplied me with the tools to deal with the challenges of my life.
One of the tools I received was the courage and the conviction to confront my situation with Katie. I didnít think about this while I was away. When I got home the situation came rushing back with both guns blasting.
For the next two weeks, Katie and I argued a lot, but I would not give in. I prayed harder and stood my ground. I was doing things that two months ago I would not have done. Then the other night, I was rewarded for my tough love. Katie admitted the things she had been doing wrong and that the time had come for her to stop hiding and take responsibility for her life.
With Christ by my side along the rocky path we had reached a soft meadow. It hadnít been easy and Iím sure it will get rocky again, but I now know that Christ will be there to light my path.
God doesnít work in fireworks for me. He knows I need the slow, steady warm up of my halogen light bulb. Christ powers my light. It is not a momentary, passing flash of light, but a steady reliable light that stays with me. I may flicker and sputter once in a while, but then I come back stronger than before.
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Thank God for lightbulbs! Fireworks are so beautiful and spectacular, but even as watch, they fizzle out, right before our eyes. Oh, but the good, old faithful lightblub faith! And that is the kind that will lead us on. Thanks for sharing.