by the Rev. Heath Howe, Family Ministries

David, my husband, claims to have two great mysteries in life: the power of the Holy Spirit and electricity. (Odd that I am not one of them...) Anyway, he does not understand either of them, but depends on both of them all the time. He also knows that in the case of each of these mysterious resources, the key is staying connected. If there is no connection, the power does not flow, or will flow in unhelpful and even dangerous ways.
In our bathroom at home we have a very annoying light bulb over our mirror that keeps blinking on and off, slowly working itself loose from the light fixture and losing its consistent contact with the electric current. Power on. Power off. Power on. Power off. Frustrating! Every couple of weeks, David has to get the step stool out and tighten the bulb in its socket. The last time he did this he said, "Sometimes this is what my Christian living feels like. I need to be reconnected." I agree. I wonder if it is that way for you as well.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said, "We are only the light bulbs and our job is just to remain screwed in!"

No contemporary individual has had a more profound impact on the course and social climate of his homeland than has this man. In creating and leading the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa and providing the moral force behind its hard, hard work, Tutu was instrumental in leading his country out of the evil of apartheid into a whole new era. An era which is far from perfect but is much better than what it replaced. For his work, Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize. Apparently he would say all he had to do was to be sure "to remain screwed in" and to let the light which the power source enabled to shine forth.

This summer, find whatever exercises work for you to keep the light bulb of your life tightly screwed into the socket of the Holy Spirit. This will require an intentional decision to get the step stool out, to stand on it and to twist yourself in a clockwise direction. So, look for the footprints and the fingerprints of the Creator in nature in full bloom as you walk the dog or play with your children in the park. Listen to music and find the Spirit singing and dancing along. Sit for a while with the sacred stories of the Bible and meet, or re-meet, the people of God who tried to live their lives connected to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Review the amazing narrative of your own life so far and give thanks. Spend some time with someone you love with no screens blocking your connection. Turn your conversations inward and upward toward the One who loves you beyond your wildest imaginings. Be brave and ask God "What are you saying to me, my heart, today? What would you have me do with that, if anything?" And then listen long and hard. Activities like these, and others you will find yourself, will reconnect you with the mysterious power source that causes your light bulb to shine consistently and brightly.

"Let you light so shine before others, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."
                                                                        (Matthew 5:16)