Thoughts on life from Pat Oaks
Recently, we were at a church and I needed a small table for a prop. We were doing one of our shows. I went out into the lobby and found just what I needed. They had a cozy little seating area with a couch, some chairs and two tables with lamps. I didn't think they would mind, so helped myself.
When we are doing shows and need props that we haven't carried with us, I can usually find what we need at the church. This was no exception. However, I don't always get a story to share. This time I did.
As I leaned over the lamp to sit it in the floor my eyes just naturally went to the top of the lamp where you can see the bulb. Guess what? No bulb! Then I looked at the one on the other side of the couch. No bulb. Hm-m-m-m-m! Interesting, I thought. What good is a lamp if there is no bulb?
I remembered the parable Jesus told when He said that you don't light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand so that it sheds light. A light is meant to shed light! What is the purpose of a lamp sitting on a table with no bulb? Is it merely for show?
There are lots of pretty lamps in our world. There are lots of nice couches, and cozy little seating areas, but if the couch just sits there and no one ever sits on it, what purpose does it serve. If there are pretty lamps sitting on pretty tables, but there is no bulb, what purpose does it have? And if one sits a book down on the table and it just gathers dust, what good is it?
You might say...well, it looks pretty - It looks welcoming - It invites people to sit and relax and perhaps carry on a conversation or read a book.
It all goes back to the light bulb.
Lamps are meant to be lit. If there is no bulb in them, they cannot be lit.
We are meant to be light to a dark world. Let's be sure we not only have our light bulb in but that it is turned on!
I consider this past Tuesday the highlight of my year! This was the year that everything seemingly fell apart. It was certainly a year to remember. More memorable maybe than the polio epidemic some of us lived through in 1949 when I was 9 years old!
The Word tells us to give thanks in all things! (I Thessalonians 5:18) The Message Bible says "Be cheerful no matter what!" That's a tall order. That's something I tend to push to the back of my mind, especially when I am in the middle of what looks like an impossible situation.
Much of 2020 has seemed like one of those impossible situations. I digress. Let me return to Tuesday night.
Zykeese Welch was baptized! For a year we have been meeting with a group of boys who live in our neighborhood. They started coming when the virus first hit. Our church had a youth group who met to play ball in our gym every Tuesday night. That stopped in March 2020. About 8 of the boys asked if they could keep coming to our house to play games. We said yes, but that we would have a Bible study before.
So, every Tuesday night, we get together to eat, study the Bible, pray and play games. Our adopted son Tyler comes quite a bit as does Kathryn...the only girl besides me!
We have been studying what it means to be a Christian and a Disciple of Christ. Zykeese decided he wanted to become a follower of Jesus. Our preacher Paul and Joe ,another member of our church, filled the baptistry and we met over there Tuesday evening. Keese is a born leader so we believe he will do great things for the Kingdom!
Afterwards we came to the house to eat. John boy had put confetti on the fan blades in the living room, so when everyone was inside, we turned the fans on and confetti filled the room! We then sang "For He's A Jolly Good Fellow!"
After we had eaten, Tommy asked everyone to tell Zykeese what he meant to them. Then we each prayed for him. I wish you could have been in the room that night. I can't remember when I have felt the presence of the Lord like I did then. I continue to be blown away by these boys each week, but never like this past Tuesday! I pray that all of them will stay on the path they are on now and look forward to spending eternity with them!
I look back and think, had it not been for all that transpired this past year, we might not have had that moment last Tuesday with Zykeese. There is no way of knowing. Of course this has been a scary year. Of course bad things have happened....lots of them! But God brought good out of the bad, so I for one will continue to "give thanks in all things!"