Imagine being a captain on a ship, lost at sea in the midst of dark deep waters. The sun sets and you are left trying to get your GPS to pick up a signal, any signal, to let you know where you might possibly be. As your GPS refuses to work, you begin to think about all the possible dangers in the water—the dark water that you can not see into because the night is pitch black. You pray that you will not accidentally stray into dangerous waters that may leave your boat punctured, and as a result, only hours away from sinking into that cold water yourself. Suddenly you see something, up ahead, and you heave a sigh of relief: A lighthouse. The light flashes, making apparent where the dangerous areas of water are. The light flashes multiple times, and you scurry to your lighthouse map and figure out where exactly this lighthouse is: you’re found—no longer lost at sea. Your worry is gone, your mood at ease, and you continue on your way with confidence and motivation. Imagine that feeling, and then take notice of this: that lighthouse is an example of who we want to be, in so many ways.
A lighthouse stands tall during the day and during the night. Just like a lighthouse we should stand tall and firm in our times of darkness and our times of light. We should stand strong and follow our principles whether the times around us are great and happy or dark and difficult. It is easy to say we believe in God, subhanahu wa ta’ala (exalted is He), and trust Him when the going is easy, but when things begin to fall apart that is one of the true tests of faith. Those are the moments where our faith is tested, and we show our true beliefs. Cathy Briant really brings this point home when she says:
“I can say that I trust this pulpit to hold me up, but that’s not really trust. Trust is active. Only when I lean my weight against the pulpit is my trust proved. It’s the same with God. Only when we lean against Him—and not our own understanding—is our faith proved.”
Dwight L. Moody has a beautiful quote about lighthouses that brings light to another praiseworthy aspect of lighthouses. He says:
“We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining—they just shine.”
When you do something great or begin to help other people out, there is no need to bring people’s attention to your good deeds. You just do them. Be amazing. Be great. God (swt) takes notice, and it will not be left unrewarded. It should not matter whether the people notice or not, as the people’s opinions are not what matters, His (swt) opinion is what matters. Do not erase your good deeds by doing it for the pleasure of others or by bragging and showing off. Allow His (swt) light to enter you, and you will inevitably shine.
An interesting thing about lighthouses is that that no two lighthouses are built exactly the same. They differ in position, size, height and even color. Yet regardless of how they look, they are a tremendous benefit to anyone at sea. Just like a lighthouse, be who you are. Be yourself. God (swt) did not place us on this earth so that we could be cookie cutter images of one another (i.e drones). He created us each as individuals so that we could fill the world with diversity, each bringing a different benefit to humanity, each fulfilling our own destiny.
Lastly, lighthouses shine their light to help and calm captains out there who may have lost their way. They fill those people away from the shore with peace and ease. They are always there, whenever they are needed and can be depended on by anyone and everyone. Lighthouses do not ask for anything in return. They do not charge you a fee if they have been of help. They do not only offer their services when you fulfill some specific duty—they are there, unconditionally. Be the lighthouse for those around you. Be there whenever they need you. Be the shoulder they need to cry on. Be the person who will warn them of eminent danger. Be the person who will remind them that the ocean of their fears will come to an end and a warm sandy beach is nearer than they think.
God (swt) says that He has filled this world with signs for us, if only we take the time to think. So it is time we think about the things around us, such as a simple structure, like a lighthouse. It is time we begin to take steps forward to become the beacons of lights in others’ lives. And do not ever think you could never be of benefit of others because you are “unworthy”—it is not your light you are shining anyway, it is His (swt). Allow His (swt) Love and His Light to enter you, and shine forth asking nothing from the people and everything from Him. Be the lighthouse you were meant to be, and shine on.