How grateful we are for navigational markers, those beacons, buoys, drums, spars, lightships and lighthouses which guide us into harbour. For a reason which I can't explain I abhor buoys which have a clanging bell! the closer we sail to them, the more paranoid I become.
I remember once when I panicked coming out of the ocean entrance at Fort Lauderdale in Florida on an unfamiliar boat. All I could think of when I heard the "clang" were those dismal words from the poem "The Inchcape Rock"; "Down sank the bell with a gurgling sound." My Husband fortunately had a steady hand on the wheel.
But the bell was a friend to be heeded.
In the voyage of life we have different kinds of markers. One such marker is our conscience. Another is the Bible itself, with its own early warning guidance system. When we founder, we can't complain the we didn't have an accurate chart!
Some words from that chart, however, are rather startling, for they impose upon us a responsibility to others. We are to shine.
St. Paul writes this mind-boggling assignment to Christians:
"You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of people who are crooked and stubborn. Shine out among them like beacon lights, holding out to them the Word of life." (Philippians 2:15)
Jesus said: "I am the Light of the world," and it is only as we reflect His light that this assignment can be fulfilled.