Hiding under a bushel.
OK, we're not supposed to do that as believers, right??
I've got proof – one is from Scripture:
"Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house." (Matthew 5:15 KJV)
The other is from that childhood song, "This Little Light of Mine":
Hide it under a bushel - NO!
I'm gonna let it shine.
Hide it under a bushel - NO!
I'm gonna let it shine,
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
But, you see, I've got two problems with that.
First of all, sometimes a little *bushel-hiding* is exactly what I want to do.
You know those public bathrooms where you go into the room, and then you slide a little latch over from "VACANT" to "OCCUPIED"? Well, sometimes that's what I feel like doing. Going into that room, sliding the latch over, and just sitting there for as long as I want…
I feel like hiding.
I don't feel like making the effort, or putting it out there. I'm well aware of what the enemy does to "front-line" people. I'm not thinking I want to risk that. Scaredy-cat Sharon isn't one to run around with a target on her back.
Hiding can be restful, and peaceful.
Hiding can be safe.
Here's the other problem I've got. Sometimes I feel like hiding because I want opportunity to come knocking at my door. I just get frustrated (truth? Angry…) that other people seem to have their opportunities just drop in their laps. Did you know that the movie actress Lana Turner was discovered in a malt shop? It's true. I kinda want that…
Why couldn't God send me a FedEx package with a whole wonderful opportunity all lined up, all explained in great detail, with email and phone information for the contact person that's going to make it all happen?
OK, yes, I might still sit in the "occupied" bushel-hiding place – but it would be nice to have the chance come to me without any effort, you know?!
So, what else…
Our pastor has just returned from his summer break, and he's starting a new series on the book of Acts. The series is entitled, "BOLDLY." In his first message, he told us all about the exciting work that the Holy Spirit did after Pentecost. He related it to the adventure that Jesus calls US to live.
I tell you what – when I walked out of church I think I could have marched to downtown Los Angeles and preached the gospel to gangs of thugs and drug dealers. I felt invincible.
Unfortunately, that feeling didn't last.
Because I took a good look at my regular life.
Sample day? Get up, fix breakfast for ailing husband, eat mine, do my quiet time, help husband take shower, take mine (or maybe not – bushel hiders don't always care about how they smell…), get the mail, do some laundry, fix lunch for ailing husband, eat mine, go to the bank, mail some bills, stop at the market, fix dinner for ailing husband, eat mine, do some crosswords, watch some TV, help husband into bed, go to bed…perchance to sleep.
I don't know about you, but that DOES NOT sound like the blazing fire of the Holy Spirit at work.
If life with you is supposed to be "The Amazing Race" – then I think I'm living more like "Survivor" or "The Real World."
So, what to do with all of this?
Do I want to hide my light under a bushel? No, not really…
Do I want to wear a target on my back? No, not really…
Do I want to seek out opportunities to serve the Lord? No, not really. (I want them, I just don't want to seek them…)
But am I somehow missing the point? (There is a grand possibility here that the answer is YES!)
Does God define adventure different than me?
Does the light that must come out from the bushel need to be a beacon?
So I took another look at that mundane day.
Did I minister to my husband? Yes.
Did I serve God by helping him? Yes.
Did I speak a kind word to the post office guy and the bank teller and the checker at the market? Yes.
Did I hear from the Almighty God Himself through His Holy Word? Yes.
Did I pray? Yes.
In all of it, every single trivial and mind-numbing task, did I still exist as a child of God with the Holy Spirit alive within me? Yes, oh yes.
So, here's what I've determined.
Even if I'm tempted to hide in that little room and move the latch to "Occupied" – am I willing to come out?
And if I come out, if I take my light out from under the bushel – am I satisfied if it only flickers or glows?
Am I missing something because I'm so caught up in being a beacon, that I don't see the adventure in being a candle?
A candle doesn't put out a lot of light – but have you ever been happier for one than in the middle of a power outage?
Well, my friends, we live in a dark world. There's a serious power outage. And God is calling us…
Out from under our bushels –
Into an adventure that might just exist in the ordinary, commonplace routine of daily life.
Oh, Lord – this little light of mine, please help it shine…
Are you doing any bushel-hiding?
(I'm linked today with Michelle at Hear It On Sunday, Use It On Monday. C'mon on over and join us)
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"