HAPPY NEW YEAR: Life Lessons from a Candle
It flickers, it sways. It's a flame. Heat and light radiate from it's dance in the wind. It burns, and then it pulsates with life.
A flame is such a beautiful thing to watch. In between a candle's singular flicker of light and the inferno of a wildfire, there are lessons to be learned. And I was fortunate to learn from my candle last night at the Crossover Service in my Church.
Last night was the last night of the year 2017. The last full moon adorned the skies and we went to church. Part of our religious tradition is to spend the end of the year in the church and begin the next year with God. I realized I have never missed one of such services in more than two decades of my life. That's a big point to me who's hardly consistent at anything in life. I can't take all the credit, my family owns it.
During the few minutes leading up to midnight of the 31st of December, the lights are turned off in the church and a candle is passed. From the officiating minister, through the church leaders to every member, everybody's candle is lighted from the Pastor's candle.
I had my own candle lighted. And I looked at this flame, as I always do, but there was something off about my candle.
It was burning way too fast. The wax melted all over it and was dropping like tears to the floor and my hand. It was building up wax cake on the entire length of the candle, way too fast. It wasn't a really sweet feeling having hot wax cool and then solidify on my fingers. But I was focused on something that was coming to me.
When I finally got it, I turned to my brother who was by my side and said, "This is life" gesturing at the candle.
"This is life", I repeated. "You start off young, and little. An infant. Untouched, unlighted. And then once you take your first breath, you are lighted up. From that moment onward, you start burning out. But you get light and warmth. Two main evidences that you are alive.
"The flame pulsating as it burns looks just like your heart beat. The wax melting off you is you aging and aging as time goes by. You don't have much time as you did a few minutes ago.
"Imagine you were using this candle in your room. And this was your only source of light. Imagine you had, let me say, a paper to write and submit in school the next day? You definitely need light for that, right? Then you have just this candle. What will you do if you knew you had just limited light to do that?
"Of course the right thing to do is to get right to work. Start working on that paper immediately, so you can finish before you have no more light.
"See where I am going with this? The assignment is your purpose in life. Your life and youth is the flame, the candle."
Life is not indefinitely long. Yet, most people live like it is.
It is wise to step straight into action and use the light you have now to make progress in life.
It is the first day of a new year. A start of a new beginning. I would say you should do things today that you'll be proud of tomorrow, my dear friends. By the way, a popular saying goes thus:
Make hay while the sun shines
Make progress while your candle burns.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!