Multiplying Your Light

Here’s something I wrote in 2007. It includes questions you might like to think about or journal about. If you’d like to share what you write about this, I’d love to read it in the comments.

Tonight I started reading a biography of Thomas A. Edison, famous for inventing the light bulb, and so many other things. It was late in the evening when I started reading, by the light of the lamp at the end of my couch, and it occurred to me that I would not be reading by that light, had the light bulb not been invented.

That got me thinking – we have so many kinds of lights from that one invention – such as chandeliers, lights in our refrigerators and stoves, night-lights, flashlights, Christmas-tree light, lights in every kind of building, lights in mines, lights in airplanes, headlights, traffic lights, street-lights, and neon signs. Look at how much pleasure we have from being able to access light so easily! I’m sure it took a lot of perseverance to invent the light bulb, and then a lot more work to get it to the many forms in which we find it today. We couldn’t count how many light bulbs have ever existed, or even exist today! What if Edison (or anyone else who worked on it) had given up? What if he (or anyone else) had said, “It will never work!” or “Aren’t candles and kerosene lamps good enough?” Yes, the world would have stayed the same in many ways, but look at how much light has been brought into so many lives by his perseverance, even though Edison would not have realized how many lives would be affected, and in how many ways they would be affected!

Journal Questions to Reflect On —

1. How does my perseverance or lack of it affect others?

2. Whose lives can I brighten today — with a prayer, with a kind word, with a helping hand, with a smile?

3. Are there goals or tasks or other areas of my life in which I have been tempted lately to give up? If so, which areas?

4. What is hindering me from persevering? Am I willing to deal with these hindrances? What steps can I take to deal with them?

5. Whose lives will be “lit” if I persevere? Will my perseverance possibly affect the lives of people I don’t even know? Will I choose to persevere?

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