Candle and the Fire within

January 21, 2007

Last night I snuffed out a candle and quickly covered it up with the lid to the jar. I watched, as in a few seconds, the flame that burned brightly quickly extinguished. The aroma given off by my candle still lingered in the air and even though the flame died, it's essence remained, reminding me of its glorious contribution to my home.

In so many ways, the candle represents our path in life. Something from a very early age or perhaps even later in life, sparks our interest, our curiosity and creates a passion for life in us that shines brightly for all to see. We move through time bringing light to those around us by the spark of our individuality and the glow of our aspirations.

I watched that flame surrender to my breath and vanish and I marveled how easily the bright light gave way to a change in direction. In so many ways, we easily change our paths according to how the wind blows in our life. We take a different course, pick a different career, perhaps not one offering any satisfaction, but we struggle to keep our flame alive in spite of the change of climate.

I looked at the glass jar and noticed that although the candle no longer glowed, the fuel that generated the flame remained. Often our capacity to love and enjoy life still exists but the fire within us to live brightly, died a long time ago. The glass jar of our life contains all the fuel we require to keep us motivated with a burning desire to do our life's work, yet our passion wanes. Who or what put out that fire? Did outside circumstances blow out our optimism or did we do that to ourselves?

The fuel (wax) remained and the source (oxygen) remained, yet together without a catalyst, the flame could not sustain itself. God, like the oxygen, perseveres and surrounds us at all times, and the energy of our life (our human bodies) generally provides us with everything we need to fulfill our hearts desire. The elusive spark of a passionate life comprises the third element we need to share our light with the world.

At the end of our lives, when our fuel is depleted and our life's work rests with God, all that remains is the pleasant aroma of our life that lingers for whom we shone. And God, like oxygen, remains constant, awaiting the next flame to come into the world.


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