Have you ever driven down a highway during the day and noticed the lamp posts that stand in the median? Has any one of them ever stood out to you? My guess is: Probably not. In your neighborhood …ever noticed how many lamp posts there are? How about driving down a lonely street at night? Were you glad to see the occasional lamp post? That’s usually when you notice them. You never really notice lamp posts during the day, when things are bright. You see them better at night, when it’s dark. That’s the nature of lamp posts: they’re most useful when it’s dark.
I’m not a flashy multimedia video billboard with anything to sell or attract attention. You won’t find me in high traffic areas trying to promote an in-your-face message. There’s no bullhorn, no loudspeaker, no promotion, no ads from me. I’m not out seeking for your attention, craving for your acceptance. Even the LIKE buttons aren’t too prominent… (At least, I don’t think so.) My visitor count isn’t very high. That’s okay. I don’t have lots of comments or Likes either. That’s okay, too. We are too starved for attention, for acceptance, for love. I’ve felt those hungers many times; I still do. This world is also full of labels, and so often, we only want the ones that make us look good…so we want others to label us with praise and recognition. We want to be associated with the popular, well-known, those who can connect us with higher traffic, greater profit, greater recognition and more influence. I’ve felt those cravings and temptations as well…sometimes, more often than I’d like to admit.
I’m not in it to profit, not in it to earn money, not in it for attention…and you don’t have to agree with my perspectives either. I’ve had to discover who I am, my purpose for being here, the work that I have to do. I’ve had to lay aside my hungers–selfish hungers borne of tempting cravings. I have to learn how to give up those things…and maybe someday, I’ll learn to just give with no thought of receiving anything in return.
So why blog?
Why put a lamp post out in the middle of nowhere? Because someone’s gonna need it. Same with me. I figure, if you’re feeling lost and need some direction, and if what I have is what you need, you’ll find me. If you happen to pass by, even if you feel like you’re okay, a lamp post in a dark moment (even a passing moment) is comfort enough to gain your bearings and then keep going.
There is one lamp post on our street, right next to our neighbor’s house. It gives a small yellowish light–nothing compared to the bright lights in the baseball stadium not too far from us. Still, that lamp post shines undisturbed, undimmed, and it’s nice to see it when I finish a run at night because I know…I’m close to home. That’s how I see my posts: reminders on just how close we are to coming Home and what we can do while we’re not Home just yet. Messages meant to clarify, to teach, to give you a chance to rethink things through—those are what I wish to offer.
This world has many faces: what’s perceived or felt vs. what’s real, the noisy vs. the quiet, the seen vs. the unseen, the physical vs. the spiritual. There is a side that lives in willing ignorance, in the bliss of no responsibility, the pleasures of permissiveness, the busyness of ambition, and the seduction of self. But there’s also a side that is honorable, noble, virtuous, good, and godly…it’s just that there are so many contrarian voices shouting so loudly that it’s hard to hear when the good speaks. That’s okay. When God said, “Be still, and know that I am God,” (Psalms 46:10) He intended for people to discover Him in the quiet places. When the scriptures say that God wasn’t in the wind, or in the earthquake, or in the fire…but in the still small voice (1 Kings 19:11-12)…we won’t find him in the commotions and noise, but, instead, when we become still.
Even though God is more powerful than the world (He created it and everything in it), He doesn’t have to compete with the world’s voices in order to be heard. Instead, the world will shout its loudest to get your attention. Why? Because we are designed to listen…and the world knows it. It is the world that’s trying to compete with God…not the other way around. He knows, if you want it badly enough, you’ll come looking for Him. You won’t listen to them. When it’s dark and you don’t know what to do, you’ll come looking for light. You won’t look for anything else. When you’re hungry enough, you’ll come looking for something that satisfies. You won’t want anything else. When you choose to look for Him…you’ve chosen to ignore the rest.
Likewise with this blog: if you’re interested, you’ll stay. If not, you’re just not hungry enough. It’s not dark enough. That’s okay. When you find yourself in a dark spot, you may find yourself back here…looking for something. Light, perhaps? I’ll be here…whenever you’re ready. If so, I’ll point you to the One True Light…the one that never fades…and it is Him who you truly seek, even Jesus Christ. You just never realized it. But realize this: You’re closer to Home than you thought.
Such is the purpose of my Lamp Posts. And my job…is to light them…and, when you need it enough…to light yours.
–Omar (the Lamplighter)