Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Letting The Light Shine

I was sitting at my prayer and listening time this morning (as I do sometimes, but not as often as I’d like you to think…), and I noticed that the candle was guttering, though only partially burnt down. I took it up and poured off some of the hot wax to stop it drowning in itself, and it burned up bright again for a while. Eventually I had to repeat the process.

It got me wondering about the Wise and Foolish Virgins, trimming their lamps. Sometimes a candle – like a life – needs some adjustment, some removing of the excess, a little tipping sideways, and even emptying out, or reshaping, before it’s potential can be realised.

This particular candle was set in a jar by its maker, which means it can’t drain as it normally would by melting a gap in its wall. Sometimes we must change our environment in order to function at our best. A melted wall might seem like an imbalance, a weakness – but it serves the candle very well.

I can nurse this candle along; pour it off once or twice a day, which is OK. Alternatively I can smash the jar, or try to prise the candle out. Liberate it. Maybe I risk breaking the candle if I do that. Maybe not…
Change requires stress and risk. Staying the same requires more and more maintanance, also stress. Either way the candle needs attention if it’s not to be wasted. Either way it’s a pretty thing. Either way it’ll only last a little while. Either way, it’s just one of many, many candles….


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