Rise and Shine! On the Shine
BY: TCLeach at http://throughanewlens.blogspot.com
In the next couple of weeks we are going to be looking at some things to Shine God’s light on that are cloaked in seemingly hopeless darkness. Before we go there, let’s take some time to more closely look at what it is we are really doing when we go about being light. The motives behind our outward actions have the power to bless our good deeds, therefore multiplying their effect, or negate them in Our Father’s eyes. To Shine and not cast shadows, we must understand some things about God’s Light, embrace it in our own lives, and purposefully (with much heart) reflect it.
What is “The Shine”?
We were created with a Divine Spark. Some call it our life force, some prefer to use the word soul. For this series, I refer to it as light. Whatever you’re comfortable calling it, this Light is life, itself. It is the potential we are born with to steer ourselves closer to God. It is us in our truest form, perfectly Created by the Perfect Creator. The light is everything in us that is good. The Shine of that Light is the visible effect others see in us that comes from God.
In What Ways Can We Shine?
We first Shine with our countenance. Our faces are relaxed with a happy expression. We can make eye contact, and be sure we are focusing when others speak to us. We also Shine by the words we speak. Using words that are affirmative and uplifting brighten any conversation! Be genuine with your speech, too. Really mean what you say, the listener discerns whether you do or not. The third place we can Shine is with our hands. We use one hand to hold on to The Father, and the other to fulfill the needs of others around us.
What if our Light is Rejected? There are many people who feel hopeless under the dark shadows that permeate their lives. Not everyone will respond we when we try to Shine God’s Light on them. Some will even try to douse our light. That’s okay! Shine on them anyway, and move along. What they reject today that came from The Father will be a seed planted in their life. We can trust Him to do the watering, fertilizing and the increase, we need only Shine!
Shining God’s Light is a powerful game-changer in our walk! When we begin to understand that it is just as beneficial to us as it is to others, the Shine becomes so much deeper and more meaningful! What begins as a Mitzvah (good deed) will become something so much more profound! When we embrace the light ourselves, joy replaces worry and woes. When we live in a way that illustrates what we believe, that God is Light, then we have a greater chance of others believing it, too. There is no quicker way to cast shadows than to behave in ways contrary to the teachings of Scripture! If we present a downcast face to the world, use our words to destroy instead of build, and can’t even use our hands to get our own life in order, no one will be inspired to learn what a difference God’s Light can make in a person’s life, and no glory will be brought to His Name!
As we prepare to look at some of the darker areas we will be Shining God’s Light, I hope that you will spend some time this week giving the this Light some purposeful thought and practical application exercise. Search Scriptures for examples of Light. After all, the 119 Psalm says that God’s Word is the Light unto our path! When we immerse ourselves in His Word, Light will be the result. Another way we can increase our wattage is to make a habit out of finding the Light in the Beauty that is all around us. This takes practice, but the benefits are amazing! We choose what we set our eyes on. Set them on the worth-while things! Seek the good. Seek it, because it is so much quieter than the bad. Quieter, but so much more powerful! Only when we allow the beauty and the good to fill us until it becomes our own nature will we be able to effectively share it! Before we change the world, or any part of it, we need to allow the Shine to change us from the inside out.
Keep these tips in mind to help you become more intimate with the Shine that God bestows upon us, and expects us to bestow upon others:
- Choose Your Mood. This may take practice. Somewhere along the line, we let circumstance and other people dictate our mood. That can stop today. We can choose to walk in joy, peace and Light!
- Choose Your Thoughts. With practice, we can become “glass half full” people. Learn to find silver linings in dark clouds and opportunities to grow in tough circumstances. Find happiness in things you enjoy and delight in that happiness until it becomes part of who you are.
- Choose Your Focus. “You are what you eat” is a true statement. You are also what you watch and what you hear and what you say and what you do! These are all the avenues by which we feed ourselves. What we “eat” is what we will become. Giving our attention to all things good is how we feed our focus. Our focus is what our will lead us along our path, be careful on what you will set yours!
- Choose Your Actions. Listen, speak, and do stuff intentionally, not without thought and consideration to the consequences.
- Choose to Connect. This one takes practice, too. The day is busy, and it seems as though there is not enough of “you” to go around. But I assure you, there is! All people have one common desire. To be heard. They aren’t necessarily looking for someone to solve their problems, but to simply listen to them. Practice doing just that, listening with all of you. When they’re through, reflect a little bit of what they said back to them, affirmation that you heard them. For instance, if someone is talking about their struggle at work, try an answer like this one. “Gee, I didn’t realize how much work it is to make your deadline, you must be very good at what you do!” In an answer like that, the speaker feels heard and validated. When your feed-back is positive, it prompts the speaker to be more positive, too!
For the whole month of July, I have practiced the things I wrote about today. My new behaviors have been noticed by everyone in my life, from my honey, kids and grands, to the people on my Facebook friend list. People have mentioned a change in me. Some have even teased me about it! I hope my Creator notices, too! I have changed my tone in everything. I’m utilizing kindness, sweetness, beauty and love to their fullest potential. I am promoting what I love instead of bashing what I hate. I am asking questions to get others engaged in conversations about beauty and joy. I want to do more than have an occasional joyous day on this Narrow Path I walk! I want joy to be part of who I am, and how I will be remembered. It felt strange at first to to speak blessings over people and remember to speak much about things good, and speak less of the things not good. I heard something the other day, though, that has made it so much easier! A wise Sister mentioned that, knowing what we know, how can we go through the day NOT blessing others? It’s more than a mitzvah, it should be a character trait in every believer! God Light is too good NOT to reflect it outward!
Let God’s Light envelope you this week! Let it wash over you like rain. Experience it, cherish it, understand that it is the opposite of everything bad. Giggle with children. Play with puppies. Watch a comedy. Go exploring, whether it be a seashore, the local State Park or even just the things you pass in your day that you normally don’t even notice. Take a candle-light bath. With bubbles! Watch for signs of the Shine in everyone you meet. Seek it in the sunset…a wildflower, or the bird flying over your head. Desire God’s Light with an intense passion! None of this journey is supposed to be dull and uneventful. We were created to walk in the Light and to Shine it on others. Ask The Father to show you what His Light can (and will) change in your world!
Heavenly Father, Blessed is Your Set-Apart Name! You are my shelter, my fortress and my strength. Help me receive the Light You Shine with grace and gratitude. Search me for any shadows, and multiply my capacity for repentance, for Light and for love. Let Your Light change me, so that I might experience joy in everything I do, and even find joy in my own sorrow. Let Your Light be the prominent characteristic of my personality so that it is visible when others behold my face, and know that You are with me. May the Shine I share prompt them to want You with them, too. Thank You, Father, for the precious gift that is my life! My heart’s desire is to live it to its full potential and to bring glory to Your Name. Forever, You are my King \o/