My wife and I are in the process of setting up our house after moving out from Oregon. One of the many blessings of our new home is the number of windows that let in huge amounts of light. It is wonderful having so much sunshine enter the house from so many different windows. But one of the curses that comes from so much glass is having to cover them with curtains or blinds. Our room in particular, has a window that faces east. As the sun comes up over the horizon in the morning, it shines across a small valley, lights up the lake directly below us, and then showers our room with sweet golden rays. In 7 of our 12 mornings here, we have had a spectacular view of God’s morning canvass. Only, it’s like 6am and I’m usually not in the mood for a shower of sweet golden rays!
So last week Traci and I hit up Target and found some promising window coverings in a curtain brand called, “Eclipse”. Since we had literally been waking up with the sunrise, I was anxious to try out these new curtains. I believed the advertising on these that stated, “blocks 99% of all light.” I couldn’t wait to sleep in 1% of sunlight.
The night we attached them to the curtain rod, I was excited by the prospects of 99% of sunlight being kicked out of my bedroom. With all the snow around here, even nights are pretty bright, and already I could see a considerable improvement in the darkness of the room. These Eclipse brand curtains were just what the doctor ordered.
When I awoke the next morning, you can imagine my disappointment when this is what I saw:
99% of sunlight my eye! Granted, the room was much less lit than it had been the morning before, but I was expecting 99% darkness! These new curtains did not meet my expectations.
I hopped in the shower a little ticked at my recent purchase and then a thought hit me: what if that was 99% blockage? After all, we’re talking about the sun! It’s not like someone was just holding a flashlight up to our window, we’re talking about a flaming star that is 92.96 million miles away from earth. It is 109 times larger than earth, and has a surface temperature of 10,000 degrees (F). This baby is blasting heat and light across our solar system and galaxy -- giving light to objects billions of miles away.
As I thought about the magnitude of the sun and how big and bright it is, I realized my eclipse curtains were representing truth in advertising. They were blocking 99% of the sunlight, but 1% of sunlight is still a lot of light!
This got me thinking about Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world…” I wonder how much “son power” I’m cranking out as I try to live Overboard for God. If 99% of my light was snuffed out, would I still make an impact on others? At 1% of it’s potential, the sun is still lighting up my bed room, but what would 1% of my potential look like? If I’m truly living the Overboard Life then I know I’m living by God’s power, not mine. I know God’s power is limitless and 1% of Him flowing through me will light up lives everywhere I go.
Are you living with God’s help? The Overboard Life cannot be lived on our own strength or power. If it is, then you’ll see that when even a small percent of your light is eclipsed, things go dark. But when we live how God wants us to, depending on Him for strength and power, we’ll find that even our frailest efforts can still light up a room -- or a life -- for His glory.
Three ways to depend on God’s help:
Read your Bible every day. Fill up with God’s Word as a habit, and you’ll see your light shining brighter and brighter.
Spend daily time in prayer. The disciplines of faith strengthen our candle power! Regular time, connecting with God through prayer, will result in powerful lives of eternal influence.
Serve, serve, serve. Time with God must evidence itself in service. Jesus boiled life down to simple fragments: Love God and love others. It’s not ok to serve others without being connected to God any more than it’s ok to be connected to God without serving. (In fact, I’d argue that you aren’t connected to God if you aren’t serving others.)
Light up the world for God’s glory, and experience the great fruit and reward of living a surrendered life.
Go ahead and take the plunge, life is better on the water.