Just Lights

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 2:20 PM

Picking out and decorating our Christmas tree is one of the big events of the holidays for us. It is filled with tradition and we work it around our schedule now so everyone can be a part of the events.

We travel to one of the many Christmas tree farms about an hour out of town. We take a hayride out to where the trees are and walk among hundreds and hundreds of trees. We take our time and check out as many trees as we can. Checking the kind of tree we want and making sure everyone agrees, which is starting to get a little more difficult as my children get older. Standing among all of those trees everyone has to keep one thing in mind, no tree is perfect.

After we have found the tree for us we take it home and get to spend a night decorating it. There is a moment in decorating the tree that I like the best. It is after the lights have been placed around the tree and we turn the lights on for the first time. There the tree stands by itself, nothing but lights shining on it. It is perfect to me just like that. I keep telling my family one of these years I am going to just have a tree with nothing but lights on it. No tinsel, no balls, no candy canes, just lights. No little lights or flashing lights either, just the big old fashion ones I like the best.

No matter what a tree looks like out in the woods when you cut it down it always looks good when the lights are shining off of it. There we can find ourselves as well. Among a crowd of people are we not just like all of those hundreds of trees in the woods? Some are big, some are skinny, some are fat and some are tall, few really stand out as anything special. In the woods of life few really stand out, there are no perfect trees.

Yet when you take a person, any ol average person and let the light of Christ shine off of it then it changes everything. What once was a normal average tree among thousands becomes something very special. I believe you can take the ugliest tree in the forest put lights on it and it will look good. I believe Christ works the same way. He can take the most messed up life, the ugliest heart and when His spirit penetrates it, it can be the most beautiful heart, pleasing to look at, lighting up a dark world.

Really there is no need for all the ornaments we try to add to our life. We try to proof we are so ‘Christian’ by how we talk or by what we know. Really we just need to shine. God can do His own decorating in our life, adding what he wants, when he wants. Our life is his to decorate.

My favorite part of that moment when we turn on the lights is when we turn off the rest of the lights in the house and look at the tree in the dark. There a simple tree with all of its flaws gives light to the house. You can not see its imperfections; all you see is the light. A life well lived, with the spirit working in it, to the world they don’t see your imperfections, they simply see the light.

Let it shine, it’s a beautiful sight.

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4: 5-6, “For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

Prayer: Dear Father, help us not to dress ourselves up but to be obedient and follow your lead, to be who you have created us to be. Help us to just shine for you in a way that points away from us and points directly at you. In Christ Name, Amen.

all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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