What are your light sources?
Today is a good day. I had lunch at CS’s in Midtown Jackson (I recommend the mushroom burger and the peanut butter pie, though you might not have room for both in the same meal); I indulged in a little “half and half” sweet tea that’s enough to keep me buzzing all afternoon; and tonight I’m attending a joyous event benefiting The Hard Places Community, which helps kids who are being trafficked for sex in Cambodia (thehardplaces.org).
But the night will be dark. Especially since we “fell back” recently. The weather app on my phone says sunset will occur at 4:57 p.m. tonight — and I’m writing this on November 21! How discouraging.
Yeah, it’s dark out there, y’all.
I feel like every autumn I should write a column about how important it is to get as much sunlight as possible; how normal it is to feel the “seasonal slide,” as a friend of mine calls it, when evenings suddenly turn dark; and how we need God and community more than ever in the cooler months (I can’t bring myself to say “cold” in Mississippi). Consider this your yearly reminder.
But also, it helps —– as I mentioned in last month’s column about gratitude — to remind ourselves of our many blessings, or shall we say, “light sources,” when all seems dark.
As I write, I’m still anticipating both Thanksgiving and “Friendsgiving” with people I care about. Per the season, my pastor has been preaching a sermon series on gratitude, and the church made simple little gratitude journals for us to take home and write in — three blessings a day, in the morning or the evening.
I’ve enjoyed keeping up with this practice. Every night before I go to sleep, I write down three things I’m grateful for from that day. Most days, I haven’t had to think long. I’m grateful for my business lunch at CS’s today, and for a juicy mushroom burger, and for a waitress named Inez who has a burger named after her on the menu.
I’m grateful for Fondren, my work neighborhood, and the bust of a cranky-looking man on the counter at Cups. I’m grateful for baristas who’ll make me a London Fog using decaf tea (if you’re noticing a trend, yes, I am HIGHLY sensitive to caffeine).
I’m grateful for the hilarious personalized license plates I see all around the Jackson area. Did you know Mississippi has a higher percentage of vanity plates per capita than we should, based on our population? Well, now you do. And you’re probably not surprised.
And I’m grateful for my friends and family: those who will call and check on me when I might be dwelling on things I shouldn’t be; those who will agree immediately to attend a local concert with me, no questions asked; those whom I will see on Thanksgiving, and those I will not. (I have a certain uncle who’ll hopefully read this, and he’d better be eating right, or I will personally drive up to northwest Arkansas and kick his tail.)
I know this column’s theme is much like last month’s — count your blessings — but this month I feel it’s more urgent. We ought to be aware of our sources of light, and not just so we’ll be grateful. We need to soak up as much light as possible.
Thankfully, we serve the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (James 1:17). We can run to Him in His Word and in prayer, and He will always give us as much light as we need.
May we always enjoy and rest in Him.
Must-reads this month (all light-bringers!):
• Our cover story on Barbie and William Bassett
• Our feature on our six Christian Leaders of the Year
• Our article on Norris Bookbinding, which rebinds old Bibles