I love lighthouses! I’ve always been fascinated by them. There’s just something about seeing a lighthouse perched atop a rocky ledge like a lonely sentinel as it sends out its warning signal. They never cease to capture my attention, make me wonder about their past, and cause me to get lost in photographing them. Maybe it’s the Maritimer in me, growing up on Canada’s east coast, but lighthouses draw me today as they have mariners for hundreds of years.
My dad is equally enamored by these charming edifices and their cottage is full of model lighthouses, books about lighthouses, placemats with lighthouses, curtains…well, you get the picture. He even built an ornamental lighthouse which graces the front lawn overlooking the ocean.
As my son and his cousins have visited Grammie and Grampy over the years, they (and their parents) have always waited with anticipation for nightfall so we could watch the far-reaching beams from the lighthouse across the ocean. The kids were quite surprised one year when they realized it took about an hour to reach it by car. How much closer it looked at the cottage!
When I stayed there recently, we took a short drive to see three lighthouses that help guide ships into the Charlottetown, PEI, harbour. At least, they used to. I’m not sure how much they are used now with modern GPS and sophisticated navigational computer systems, but I’m sure captains of vessels still must know how to use them – you know… if their modern technology ever fails. I know in my home city of Halifax, experienced captains still go out in their pilot boats to meet incoming ocean liners to assist them in navigating the harbour’s tricky waters.
My dad was explaining how captains would watch for particular lighthouses as they began entering the Charlottetown harbour. Some lighthouses have reflecting lights that send out beams several kilometres while others are “range” lighthouses. For the latter, there is always a “front” and “rear” range lighthouse with the rear one being situated several feet higher than the other. As ships entered the harbour, they knew they were on course if the two lights were perfectly aligned one above the other. It’s much more complicated, but as usual my mind started twirling with life applications.
As followers and believers of Christ, we are told to “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:14) We are to “reflect the Lord’s glory” (II Corinthians 3:18) Also, we are to “Live as children of light.” (Ephesians 5:8)
In order to be a good reflection of Christ, the true Light of the world, we must be perfectly aligned with Him. Our thoughts, words, actions, and desires must be His. If not, we are in danger not only of going off- course ourselves, but also run the risk of leading others astray. This requires our light to be constantly energized by the reading and study of God’s Word which is a “lamp” and “light” (Psalm 119:105) for us as we navigate the challenging waters of our life.
Until next Sunday,