Have you ever experienced one of those surreal, other-worldly moments when it almost feels as if you are glancing into the deepest parts of a soul?
That is a taste of how I felt the other night when this glorious sight lit up my world at the Salt Lake City Lantern Fest!
(Nothing like a bunch of lights in the sky to make you feel like a princess!)
As I stood in a crowd of 1,000s of strangers, a few things entered my thoughts.
Many of those lanterns up in the sky that night were covered in words. Hopes. Aspirations. Dreams. Joy. Love. It was an opportunity to reach for better things. To ignite a passion strong enough to fuel even the grandest of desires. To see the future scattered in possibilities. There truly is something magical about believing in good things to come…
Then I pondered a little more. I was positive that there were also other emotions and experiences being sent up into the dark abyss that night. Things that were hard to let go, but even more difficult to hold on to. Death. Pain. Loneliness. Sorrow. Loss. Abuse. Disease. Sickness. Suicide. Depression.
It seemed like the perfect moment to untie these challenges that may be holding us back. Dragging us lower than what we really are.
Unfortunately, these other words are felt by all of us at some point in life. They are scary. Intimidating. Hard to handle on our own. We are in a constant war with these others.
Sending a lantern up into the sky with hopes of becoming a millionaire won’t make us rich. It also will not remove pains and challenges from our journey or from the lives of people we love.
Something it can do is lift your eyes to the heavens. It can brighten up the darkness. It can remind us that there is always at least one who knows what we are experiencing, who is aware of our hearts, and who wants us to succeed.
As I considered the mixed feelings that were being lit up and sent afloat, I hoped that at least one person would be led to find peace in the true source of light. To finally see the brightness of the Son and know who they are. To imagine all that is yet to come.
The things we find in life are not permanent. They are not binding. They do not bring lasting happiness. They are temporary.
The blessing given as a gift to each of us is that we can move beyond things of the world. We can receive help. Love. Compassion. Mercy. Hope. A cleansing of all the trials we endure. The things of God are everlasting. They are available to all of us.
In allowing light to illuminate our paths, we can better determine OUR direction. In permitting the light of Christ to illuminate our paths, we can better determine HIS direction.
Despite the darkness and temptations that pass through our lives at our weakest moments, we do not have to give in. We do not have to give up. Even if you have hit rock bottom, there is a hand reaching down through the shadows to pull you back up. There is always light available if we will just look up and see it.
Keep your eyes wide open :)
XOXO – Heath