Lights On Please

It’s raining today. I like the rain, but I don’t like to drive in it, because I am frustrated by the people who drive around in the rain with their lights off. I can’t see them! Generally speaking, I don’t see well to begin with, but the combination of the mist on my windows, the glare on the street, and a steel-grey sky make it nearly impossible for me to see anything that isn’t fully illuminated. Oh, I know these lightless drivers can see the road, and they can see me, but I can’t see them and that could be tragic!

I was fuming over this a while ago as I was returning from my errands, clutching the steering wheel in white-knuckled terror, when I ran over a spiritual truth. Sometimes, no one can see me. My lights are not on. This fact became glaringly clear as the Lord reminded me of an incident that happened some days ago.

I ran into the drugstore “real quick” just to grab something that was on sale. The gal mistakenly rang it up without my coupon, so three registers later I stood waiting for a manager (second call) to come and make the adjustment. I felt my short afternoon becoming shorter by the minute but not my to-do list.

I know seeing myself in hindsight that my arms were crossed, my brows were knit in barely-concealed frustration, my lips were pursed (around my tongue, which I was biting), and I was glaring in the general vicinity of the cashier who had caused all this inconvenience in the beginning. That’s all it was really, an inconvenience, but I had turned it into one black storm, and my lights were not on as I tried to navigate through it. Consider the words of our Lord.

No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. – Luke 11:33

Every driver on the street is a soul looking for light. They may be a brother in Christ looking for a ray of hope and encouragement; a sign that they’re headed the right direction and are almost home. Often they’re the half-blind driver beginning to squint through the gloom, hoping to see even a faint glimmer by which they can navigate. Occasionally they’re the drivers who are so completely in the dark that they don’t know until they see you that they are on the wrong side of the road, approaching disaster. If your lights aren’t on, how can they know?

So, next time you find yourself in the grey, or in a flat out pull-to-the-side-of-the-road squall, remember the drivers out there who need to see you with your lights on.

Ahhh…there you are!