There was once a candle that was lit to illuminate a dark room. The candle was so proud of itself because everyone was benefiting from its light while going about their business without acknowledging it. Sometimes if something fell into a dark corner, they’d just pick the candle up, use it to look for the missing item and after finding it, place the candle back on the stand, just like that!
This went on for a while but one day, the lighted candle got so upset and said to itself, “I will teach these ungrateful people a lesson on appreciation. I will hide from them and see if they will be able to go about their business without me in a dark room.”
So the candle, along with its light, looked for the most inconspicuous place in the room to hide. At the back of a locker was a basket. The candle found its way under the basket and stayed there. “Now let’s see who will suffer,” it said feeling comfortable.
After a while, it started getting unusually hot. “What is happening to me?” said the candle, “why do I feel very hot in here?”
“You are not meant to be here,” said the locker at whose back the candle was hiding.
“What do you mean, I’m not meant to be here? Have you not noticed I’ve been taken for granted by these people and without me, they cannot see their way around the house.”
“Well”, replied the locker, “the longer you stay hidden, the hotter you will get and the faster you will burn out.”
“Really?” asked the baffled candle who was already beginning to feel its flames outstretching as its body shrank.
“That’s not all,” said the locker. “You see, your flames stretching out means you need more air and if you do not get it, you will set that poor basket on fire and the entire room will be set ablaze because no one knows where you are hiding. And when the room burns, you and your pride will burn with it. This same light of yours you are hiding from benefiting others will turn out to be an instrument of destruction. If we are lucky, the fire will be noticed early enough and put out. Some items may be saved but guess who will never make it?
“Me?” asked the candle in a weak and scary voice.
“That is correct. If you set the basket on fire, the heat and flame on the basket will melt you away.”
The candle quickly rushed out from under the basket that had already started heating up back to its stand and the room became bright again. Its flames normalised and its already melting body firmed up again from the cool breeze that blew softly across the room.
From the far corner of the room, the candle heard the locker say, “It may seem like no one appreciates what you do but the people you affect appreciate the one who made you for being able to give them light.”
Although the candle knew one day its time would come to an end, it was still happy knowing that it could and would shine its brightest in the darkroom for all to see until its timeline was over; rather than leave havoc in its wake.
Where have you hidden your own light? Behind a locker, under a basket or on the lampstand. Life on earth is short but let your light shine brightest for the world to see.
Culled from Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. People don’t light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”