Every Sunday I go to church so that God's light can shine on me and prepare me for the week ahead. Sometimes that light wraps me in God's love and sometimes it shows me what I need to be working on.
First thing this morning someone came up to me and started quizzing me about the plans for the fall carnival I am organizing for next week. As he offered his ideas on what I should be doing and how I should be doing them, I found myself getting more and more irritated. God's light was showing me that I usually take ideas as criticism and that I do not take criticism well. So instead of continuing to be irritated, I counted to ten, listened to the ideas, and realized that this person was just trying to help.
God also shined His light on how far I have come in handling my mistakes. I was liturgist today and instead of reading Hebrews 11:8-12 and I started reading Hebrews 1:8-12. The pastor tried to tell me I had chosen the wrong chapter but I thought he meant that I should stop reading at verse 11, not be reading chapter 11. He eventually got up from his seat on the chancel to tell me I was reading the wrong chapter. I made a joke as I turned the pages to chapter 11 and carried on. When I first started serving as liturgist, I was humiliated when I would make a mistake. As I sat and waited for the end of the service, I would always vow that it would be my last service to perform the liturgist duties. But today, I didn't give the mistake a second thought. God's light first showed me that my mistake just meant that I was human, and then it showed me how much I have grown in my acceptance of myself and that even though I may have made a tiny error, that I did a good job with guiding the congregation through the service.
I have to admit that the second light was much easier to experience than the first. It seemed like the warmth from a candle instead of the harshness of a florescent bulb like the first one did. Learning that God or anyone shining a light on what we can do better is one of the best ways to grow is one of those lessons that as taken me awhile to grab onto. That light is like a grow light that nurtures plants and helps them increase in size. If we let it, God's light can nurture us and help us increase in goodness.
So the next time someone offers constructive criticism or I serve as liturgist and I make a mistake, both of which will probably happen, I will bask in the light of God's love and look for the blessings in His light.