Dec 27, 2012

Stand and Shine

Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining. –Anne Lamott

I’ve been doing it again lately—running around like a chicken with its head cut off, stumbling, flailing, thrashing—hoping to magically land in the place I’m supposed to be. For the life of me, I just can’t seem to find where I fit. I wish I had known this was going to be a life-long struggle; I would have taken better notes in junior high.

I thought my wing-flapping days were over a little over a year ago when I discovered my passion for writing. It felt so good to rest, to find my head, to know that all I’ve ever been through wouldn’t be wasted. I was filled with a sense of purpose and hope. But for me, all it takes is one swing of uncertainty’s axe, one shimmer of improbability’s blade and I’m beating air again.

Even though I know beyond all doubt I’m in the right place, I’m still struggling to find where I fit here. Walls bricked high with branding strategies, marketing expertise, tribes, agents, numbers, cash, conferences block me in; hoards of others better and more experienced line the streets, scale the hedges. And once again I’m left searching, running to keep up, wandering, wondering.

I’m lost.

But I remember something I heard on one of those survival shows: If you get lost it’s best to stay where you are. If you try to find your own way out, you risk getting more lost, becoming vulnerable to predators and harsh elements, being seriously injured, and/or depleting your supplies. You have more of a chance of being found—and more importantly, surviving— if you stay in one place. The moment you realize you’re lost is the moment you should stop moving and begin using what’s around you to your advantage.

It’s true. Running around freaking out only wastes energy and resources. It dims your light and makes you harder to find.

People are looking for constant; they seek stability. People need your words, your story, your light, but they won’t be able to find it if you are always running, moving.

Are you lost? Discouraged? Feel like you just can’t find your place? Be encouraged today. Join me in stopping, getting still, and using this place, these resources. Flames in motion flicker and often die out, but a light resting in one place shines steady, giving light to all around. Even if you are in a place you don’t like, understand, or want to be, God can use you. Just stand and shine where you are; people are always drawn to His light.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)