When I held the position of Receiving Manager at the south Tulsa Home Depot during the final year of our stay in Oklahoma, I spent a fair amount of time inside many of the truck trailers that backed up into our dock. Most of those trailers had translucent tops that allowed diffused sunlight to filter in and light up the interior of the box. But there were times when the truck was either packed so tightly or was a night delivery where it was difficult to read the labels on the boxes, or just plain see what you were doing when unloading the merchandise! So, at times like that we would open our cell flip phones* and use the light emitted from them to guide our way.
That story also reminds me of a time in the late 1990’s when I was supervising a swing shift crew in the machine shop at Hewlett Packard. Since production demands were at all-time highs at that time, the shop was running three shifts a day during the week with a weekend schedule as well. In my position I covered the normal swing shift and part of the graveyard shift as well by working four ten hour days a week, rotating my day off between Friday and Monday.
During that period of time I left our home about 2:00 each afternoon and returned around 3:30 the next morning! It was actually a very similar schedule to the Home Depot position in Receiving when I was scheduled to work from 3:00pm until midnight, but normally ended up staying until around 2:00am on many evenings each week.
I used to get frustrated during the HP job when I came home in the wee hours of the night and couldn’t see the key hole on the front door because someone had repeatedly forgotten to leave the front porch light on when they went to bed! And since that was before cell phones, I finally gave in and purchased a small flashlight that I carried on my key ring. That little light turned into a great blessing as it lit up the porch and allowed me to see my way in the dark! It also saved my sanity and most likely strengthened our marriage!
Psalm 119:105 tells us that “The word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (KJV) The Message Bible puts it into modern vernacular stating: “By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path.” So, it seems that God’s Word can be likened to the light emitting from my open cell phone or that tiny flashlight I carried for years on my key fob.
Throughout my secular career at Hewlett Packard/Agilent Technologies and later at Home Depot, I mostly worked swing shift or night time schedules. Therefore I spent a lot of time working when it was dark outside. Maybe that’s why I like a lot of light in my house today! I can’t stand to walk into a house during the day where the curtains are drawn or the sunlight is filtered through sheer curtains. And at night I like a well lit room!
I am thankful that my wife has always felt the same way even though her folks tended to enjoy a dimly lit room for the atmosphere that they felt it held in the room. I would always enjoy watching the way Piper would go into action when we visited them during the evening hours. With a warm smile on her face and encouraging words flowing from her lips she would proceed to joke about how she couldn’t see the others in the room and turn on multiple lights and thereby brightening the entire atmosphere and mood in the home.
Piper’s actions were similar to the way God’s Word works to brighten the atmosphere and uplift the mood in our lives! Verses 88, 107 and 154 in Psalm 119 talk about the Psalmist’s plea to God as he cried out: “Quicken me according to thy word.” The word “quicken” meaning “to revive, to live prosperously, to enjoy real life and to be in full vigor, fresh, strong, efficient, active, powerful and efficacious.” (Strong’s and Thayer’s)
So, when you combine all the scriptures I’ve written about today, you can see that God’s Word not only lightens our way each day, but does so in a way that uplifts and encourages us so that we can be more successful and fulfilled in all we are called on to accomplish in the daily activities of life! When I step out of the front door each day I want my path to be as well lit as my house is… and whether it is sunny or overcast, warm or snowing outside… it doesn’t make one ounce of difference because the atmosphere of my life is well lit and my step is quickened by the truth of God’s Word!
How’s your life going? Have a great rest of the week, and as you do, keep asking yourself… Whose Word am I expecting to light my way today?”
*This was before smart phones!