For those of you who went to Sunday school as a kid, do you remember the song? This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.
Did you know that the Bible says we can all be shining like stars? I read this last week! Philippians 2:14 gives the instructions of how to shine: Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless…In a crooked and depraved generation in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.
Isn’t that beautiful? I mean to be compared to shining like a star in the universe is pretty awesome! But you did catch the first part of this, didn’t you? do everything without complaining or arguing?
Can any of us go through a day without complaining, even if it is just to ourselves (under our breath at the car in front of us going too slow)?
I think it means more than just refraining from speaking words of complaints or arguing with someone. Could it be more of a mind and heart condition? Buttoning my lip and not complaining could lead to some other problems…ulcers, pent-up frustration, etc. or not being authentic and truthful.
Isn’t complaining just a form of judgement or of something or someone who is not doing what we want?
Could we make a 180 and turn complaining to appreciation? If you have ever spent time in a place of appreciation, constant moments of awe and even love, you know how it feels. You see things in a new way.
You may be walking in the woods, taking in the beauty of nature. Or, sitting in church singing and feeling your body and emotions being one with the Creator of nature. Or you could be dancing, at a club or in your apartment-jumping up and down and sideways and feeling the moment of bliss in just expressing yourself. Or watching a movie that pulls at something deep in you or reading a book that transports you to a place where you feel connected to something inside and beyond.
In those moments, we feel connected. We feel whole even. It is part of our being human and being created by the one who loved creating us.
Being joyful, grateful, appreciative sets the right tone, the right perspective and paves the way for shining!
Being grateful and appreciative of what is in front of you in the moment chases complaining and arguing out of the room. You can’t gripe and fault someone while also appreciating them.
I know, I’m on the Pollyanna kick again. You say, “Victoria, we live in a crooked and depraved generation. You can’t just be all sweetness and sunshine with all that is going on in this world.” I agree. I can’t and neither can you. But just try taking an hour, a day and instead of grumbling, appreciate the situation in front of you or the person or the problem.
I am in a state of transition. I am transforming my life and starting a new career. There could be a lot to grumble about! My belongings are in storage. I am renting a room from someone and sometimes feel like an interloper. I’m not sure what the next few months will look like exactly.
I tried applying to jobs in my field- over 200+ in the last ten months. Doors kept closing.
And they closed for reasons I do and do not know. But all the while, another door was cracked open, a door I had not considered seriously- professional writing. I’m working on a project where all the tools are being provided for me to craft a viable business and livelihood. It gives me flexibility to travel and to work from anywhere. I can be with my grandchildren this week and next week be in another place. Yes, I have to find clients, but I also am taking care of myself in a way that gives me fulfillment.
Being grateful, being appreciative and yes, even joyful is not about covering up a problem or a situation or a toxic and unhealthy person or environment. Being in a state of positive appreciation gives you the ability to see things differently. To shine in on a new way or path to a solution, even if it’s just for your sanity and peace.
Lastly, the final part of this verse talks about being stars and holding out the word of life. Biblically this means holding out the word of Christ, but it also can take on a great meaning for all of us. A star is a fixed luminous point in the night sky that is a large, remote incandescent body.
Holding out the word of life is being in a place of growth, of being sourceful and of being alive! of shining to others as a help and support and a guide perhaps.
Imagine, being full of light and giving it out freely. That is what light does. It isn’t greedy or just shines on some and not on others. It just shines, baby! It just shines. Shouldn’t we all just be shining?
Be a star today! It was the first thing God created-the stars-the heavens.
SHINE, BABY, SHINE!