Christmas candles! Can you imagine a Christmas season without candles?
A week ago, along with the help of the two of my daughters that live nearby, we did the Christmas decorations here at my house. Confession time — I admit that I cheat, not only by having their help, but also because I take about 15-20 pictures each year of how the decorations are laid out. Why not? If it is good enough for last year, it is also good enough for this year, at least as a start, right?
Well, I just counted the candles sitting in various places of the house – 32. You read it correctly. And, by the time Christmas festivities are a memory, most of them will have been lit. Joyce loved candles and she got me to feel the same.
Candles are very practical, in some circumstances, of course. Of course they have their limits, such as requiring an already existing fire to light them!! In addition to that small downside, other things like flashlights, electric lights, car head lights, TV screens, street lights, cell phones, computer screens, are just several items that also provide light in our time. But, candles have a something none of the just mentioned substitutes can claim – history!!
Candles are also great analogies.
The analogy in my mind at the moment is built off of the prime purpose of a candle – to provide light. True, it is very dim compared to the spot light on the police car, or the stadium lights that allow 100,000 people to watch a night football game. Nonetheless, if a candle isn’t giving light, its principal function is not being realized. Oh yes, we can do other things with a candle than light it. If you have enough of them, you could fill a box and use it as a weight. You could use them as rollers if the object wasn’t so heavy it would smash the candles and come to a screeching halt. You could trim off all the wax if you needed badly enough a piece of cord or string. You could wax the bottom of some skis, or a zipper on a jacket. You could use them for decoration because they have been so exquisitely and/or colorfully made. You get the idea – a candle could be useful for some things even if those things were not the principal reason for the generic candle’s existence.
People, created by God, also have a prime purpose – to glorify God by being spiritually at one with Him. And, like candles, people can do other things than satisfy their prime purpose. The list could go on forever, so I won’t even begin the list. You could probably come up with ideas that wouldn’t even occur to me anyway. With over six billion people currently on the planet, would we ever get to the end of the list? Not likely.
But, what a tragedy if for all the profitable things people could, or can, do they would miss the prime purpose of being human – to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. To not realize that purpose would be sort of like lighting a candle and covering it with a bushel basket. Oh, someone already used that analogy. What was his name? Oh, yeah, I think his name was Jesus!!!. And, He should know a thing or two about why humans exist.
So, this Christmas, don’t forget to learn from the candles, OK?