Recently, I was driving home after an evening networking meeting. My mind was filled with conversations I’d had, the plans I’d made to follow-up with new colleagues and the points the speaker had made in her talk. I knew the road home very well, but I had a nagging feeling something was wrong.
Maybe I had a burnt out headlight? Shouldn’t I have a warning on my dash somewhere? This car tells me if I need to change the oil, or if I don’t have my seatbelt fastened and if a door is ajar; certainly, it should tell me if I have a burned out headlight. Nothing is lit up.
As I pull into my garage, I realize the something wrong. I was shocked to discover that I’d driven home at 9 p.m. at night without having my headlights ON.
Earlier in the week, I took my car in for an oil change and ended up having some other maintenance performed. Somewhere during the course of that maintenance, they must have changed my settings for my headlights from AUTO to OFF. It never occurred to me to switch on my headlights when I got into the car because I had chosen the AUTO setting when I took possession of the car and never thought about it again. I expected the lights to come on automatically when I was driving my car and needed to have lights.
Now that I’ve had a little time to think about it, I’m aware of the other areas in my life where I’ve gotten used to the automatic choices I’ve made. Areas where I’ve stopped paying attention and took for granted.
I managed to find my way home because of lights on other vehicles and along the roadway. What if I hadn’t known what to expect along the route I took home? How much more difficult it would have been for me to feel my way in the dark.
Consider how challenging it is to find our way in life when we do not shine our light out into the world. Yes, I realize that it is comfortable and less scary staying in the shadows and doing things on Auto Pilot. What if, you shining your light, sharing your gifts, unleashing your story…you being ON…is exactly what someone else is looking for? They have had so many lights turned OFF and now are counting on your light to help them find their way.
Be the light!