I had coffee with a lady a few weeks ago that asked me to name the top three people who have had the most profound influence on my life. “Who were your flashlights?” she asked. I easily named three and certainly could have listed a dozen more.
When you’ve struggled and stumbled your way through life in such an awkward and difficult way – like I have – there is no hesitation to name those who, at some point, came along to shine a flashlight for you.
While out for a bike ride with my family a few days following that coffee conversation, this ray of sunshine – like that of a flashlight – broke through the trees where my family and I were biking. As soon as that beautiful beam hit the trail, I felt God impress on my mind the faces of my mentors… the people who lit my way… the people who were my “flashlights.”
I was reminded how each of them were, at some point, my light along the way.
I was reminded how they were God’s Word to me when the noise of my inner struggles seemingly blared louder.
I was reminded how they were my hope, my support, my focus, my strength, that broke through the cluttered forest to let me know everything was going to be okay.
I can honestly say I would never be where I am today without the love and support of people who came alongside me to help me see something I didn’t even see and believe in myself.
This then is how we should live in return.
If you’ve ever been low, notice the lowly.
If you’ve ever been beat down, notice the broken.
If you’ve ever cried, notice the tears.
If you’ve ever been hurt, have compassion for the hurting.
Never be so busy doing life that you don’t have time to be life.
This is what it means to help, support, encourage, love, guide and mentor other people. It doesn’t need to be some big fancy spectacle; you just need to let people know you care. You just need to hold up a flashlight for them so they can continue riding.
Say something kind.
Ask them how they’re doing.
Take 5 minutes to listen.
Tell them something they’re good at.
Acknowledge a gift they possess.
These small acts of kindness go a long way.
They bring life.
They bring hope.
They bring love.
They bring warmth.
They bring light.
Is this not the way God intended?
Jesus poured His life into His disciples.
His disciples poured their lives into the world around them.
Now we – as rays of sunshine – need to pour our lives into the people around us…. the ones that need a light for their path… the ones that need a flashlight.
Wanna hear one more cool thing?
A couple of weeks following the above-mentioned stories, I received a tear-jerking email from my music mentor – the lady that is responsible for me even pursuing music in the first place. She wrote to tell me how proud of me she is, and I wrote her back to tell her it was because of her; my flashlight.
Can someone say that about you?
Are you living your life in such a way that you are helping to light someone’s path?
Could someone call you their flashlight?
”For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.” -Ephesians 5:8-13