The sky stretches inky black above us as we wait for the first spark to light it with color. Whizz. Bang. Suddenly the evening is filled with red and blue and yellow. We ooh-and-aah as each firework explodes and sends ashes to the ground.
When it’s over we walk back into the house–back to the ordinary of dishes, laundry and conversations about what we’ll do tomorrow.
As I drift off to sleep a quote someone once shared with me drifts across my mind, “Be a candle not a firework.” In other words, shine brightly for a lifetime not just a brief, spectacular time.
But how do we do this?
Here are three ways to perhaps make it happen…
* Live with intention – Fireworks are scattered. A million sparks in a thousand directions. Candles burn with a single flame. We can be thoughtful about how we spend our time, affection and resources.
* Stay steady – We love fireworks because of the thrill and excitement. Candles aren’t quite as glamorous but they last much longer. Sure, we can have “firework moments” and that’s great. In daily life, we can be quietly faithful to what God has called us to do.
* Go for substance, not show – A firework is flashy and draws a crowd. But as a source of light and warmth, well, they don’t quite do the trick. We can stay true to our purpose, even when it seems no one notices.
I’m all for fireworks and I’ll be staring at the sky with wonder and delight along with everyone else every Fourth of July. But there are 364 days in between. And on those days it will be candles that glow in my home.
Each time I light one and set it on a dinner table or in a window, I’ll remember that sometimes being steady, faithful, and intentional can make us shine brighter than we will ever fully realize.
Who’s a candle in your life? Tell them today!
Are you someone who wants to bring light to the world with your words? No more waiting, start my writing course now!
For more encouragement, tune into the More than Small Talk podcast. This week, we’re talking about how to find sparks of hope in the dark.