Did you ever go to switch on a light in a dark room, only to find that the bulb was out, or worse that a household member has stolen the bulb in question to use in another room? With incandescent bulbs, the problem was more frequent, but stealing LEDs for another room is still irritating.
You and I live in the household of God’s family. The first biblical word our God has ever said to us is
Let there be light. (Genesis 1.3 )
To live in darkness is not what God desires for us. We are called to live in the light. Daylight. Sunlight. Moonlight. Artificial light. Light from without. Light from within.
What illumination has God given us (gifts or light bulbs, if you will ) has God given us to help us in our movements as we inch along or leap toward fully human lives.
v the gift of consciousness. Sometimes we blunder through a day without even being aware of what is happening. Be present to the day, the moment. Save daydreams for another time. Be aware.
v the gift of openhandedness. Open hands give away or receive, don’t clutch and are sometimes empty.
v the gift of singleheartedness. The opposite of singleheartedness is dupliciousness, speaking with a forked tongue, lacking in integrity. Jesus was singlehearted. He looked for a kernel or well-grown singleheartedness in the people he called. Think of Nathaniel, a man in whom Jesus saw is no guile.( John 1.47 )
v the gift of being able to initiate. Conversartions, relationships, work, To initiate is to invite into oneself, to enter into.
v the gift of responsiveness. To respond, not ignore. To respond requires that the other initiates. The back and forth of human interaction requires that we respond. First responders is a term coined in our day, but history is full of first responders. Jesus was the first responder above and beyond all others.
v the gift of staying power. I can’t. “I won’t” gives way to “I think I can.” “I think I can” gives way to “I want to . I will.” To what in our daily lives do we make these responses?
Using these gifts, we can develop life giving patterns, Habits of the Heart, as Steve Covey puts it. But also habits of the mind, spirit, and body. Habits can become rote. That’s not God’s gift. Repetition becomes life giving when it continues to be conscious, wholehearted and singlehearted. Here’s an example of a life giving habit: Yesterday I found inside of me a prayer of praise for our God. Is it there today. Can I repeat it with my heart? Build on it? In my daily life, let there be light.