Thursday, December 22, 2011

CYF Religious Education: Session 2: Letting Your Light Shine

The opening words for today's RE lesson on the Church of the Younger Fellowship is comprised of a passage in the Bible, Matthew Chapter 5:14-16, which speaks of letting your light shine on your good works. The exact passage is:

You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting
a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lamp-stand, and it gives light to all in
the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see
your good works….
-Matthew 5:14-16

The reflection is by a minister, who states that she always wanted to be a jazz singer, and admired Ella Fitzgerald, until she realized she had no musical talent whatsoever. The following passage sticks out to me:

"At that moment, I had a crazy thought that might pass as a revelation. What if some
crazy flip-flop were the case? I thought to myself. What if I were to find out that years
ago a beautiful jazz singer had dreamed of being me? What if, more than anything else,
this singer wanted to possess the gifts and talents I possess? Indeed, what if she had
dreamed me up and her highest aspirations and life-long yearnings were supposed to
come to fruition through me? How ungrateful I would be to stand here wasting my
time dreaming of being her!
What would happen if each of us were to find out that we were the creation of
someone else’s dreams? I wonder: Would that change the way we live our lives?
Would we spend less time thinking about what we don’t have or aren’t? Would we
spend more time cherishing who we are? Would we approach life a bit like a treasure
hunt, and spend our time looking for the gifts the dreamer had hidden in us? Perhaps
we would stay awake at night, not worrying by wondering—wondering what great
works or wonders this dreamer had made us capable of making real?"
This is something, I admit, I struggle with. Even now, I always find myself comparing myself with others, usually in the negative. I have musical talent, but lack the showmanship and ability to overcome stagefright (not to mention, at this point in my life, opportunities). I work well with kids and have made many good friends, but still struggle with a great deal of shyness and social anxiety. I always wish I could be taller. Bigger. More outgoing. More comfortable in my own skin. You get the idea. Maybe my New Year's resolution for the upcoming year should be to rid myself of the negativity and pressure I always put on myself.

I will close with this session's discussion questions:

"What are you particularly good at?": Music. Photography. Helping people who are less fortunate - including animals.

"What are you proud of having accomplished?:" becoming generally self-sufficient when I never thought I would be able to. Surviving grad school to the extent that I have.

"What talents do you have?": I see this as a repetition of question #1, so I will refer to the above.

"How do you let your light shine in the world?": I suppose, by being the best person I can be. I'm still trying to figure out just how - and if - I'm impacting the world around me. I think this is something I will always question.

No comments: