While visiting the Maine Lighthouse Museum during our vacation in New England, the guide told us an interesting bit of history about lighthouses along the East Coast. Sometime in the 1980s the U.S. Coast Guard decided that it would be more economical to automate the lighthouses than to continue to pay keepers to live in them and maintain them. While this did save money initially, it eventually proved disastrous. If a lighthouse failed to shine in the darkness, there was no one on hand to immediately troubleshoot the problem and repair it. Because the lighthouses were unoccupied, they gradually fell into disrepair and became the targets for vandals. Eventually it was determined that the costs of repair far outweighed the costs of preventive maintenance. So the Coast Guard reversed its policy and began turning lighthouses over to private organizations that would care for them.
I believe there is a message here for us. We cannot expect to serve well as lights shining in a dark world if we are not properly maintained. We do this by continually renewing (2 Cor. 4:16) our inner light in four ways: through our relationship with Christ who is “the light” (Jn. 1:4-5); through the Holy Spirit who is our power (Acts 1:8); through God’s Word which is our guide (Ps. 119:105); and through fellowship with other believers which keeps us clean and operational on a daily basis (Jn. 13:5-20).
Read the verse at the top of this page again. In his gospel, Matthew does not suggest that being a lighthouse is an optional occupation for the Christian. The question then is not “Do I want to be a lighthouse?” but rather “What kind of lighthouse am I?”
By Larry Ondrejack
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org