GE Patrick continues with the third of a four part extended series entitled Caribbean Optimism....Moving Forward. This is a follow-up to comments delivered at Optimist International Caribbean District Convention 2014, August 9, Sunset Jamaica Grande, Ocho Rios.
On the first Sunday of August this year, I was in church at The Fellowship, Corpus Christi in Texas and the associate pastor told a story of a man who, against the better judgement of his wife, decided to open a service station. Things were tough... It seemed success was not ever coming his way... But the man kept pressing on.
One evening he got home from a long and exhausted day at work and he noticed that there were lit candles along the drive way; candles all the way up to the door way... He entered the house and candles were burning all around. He thought, how strange; but how romantic?
He went to turn the light switch on; and nothing.... He called out to his wife; and she came gliding toward him… She was graceful and calm.
He said to her, Honey, there is no light! Humbly and softly she said to him, You have been working so long and hard, doing your best all the time, trying to ensure that things work, and I did not want to burden you with this. I did not wish for you to come home in the dark, so here we are...
She could have told him how bad he was. She could have weighed him down with his failures and the things that caused them to not have electricity; but she did not dwell in the negative. She turned the moment into an opportunity for showing him some love... Instead of cursing the darkness, she lit a candle!
I was blessed by the service that morning. The main sermon delivered by the senior pastor was about humility - being humble as a lamb, acknowledging that answers are not always found in the obvious, and submitting ourselves to the greater power that makes it possible for lambs to defeat oxen, wolves, and lions. And in the midst of the message I found myself thinking about what it means to be a volunteer serving our children, and what it means to be a leader in Optimism.
If we think about it just a little bit more, we would probably see the amazing power and greatness to be found in humility; the tremendous wisdom that is manifested in being humble; how much of a deep lasting love a lamb evokes in the heart of men; how one small candle burning in the dark does light the way for so many to find their true path to greater success.
And so I ask us all today, what is the power on which you will depend to do what is right for the children today? What is that greater source, that motivation, that something which drives you to make a difference in Optimism today? What does it take to light a candle of love and care for our children and young people, of compassion and understanding towards your fellow Optimists, of strength and commitment in bringing Optimism to the world?
Sometimes that lit candle is just a smile; a warm embrace; a thumb’s up... Sometimes that is all it takes to be a flicker of hope in moments of desperation. When we see someone doing something that we know could be better, don’t just chastise them, don’t just beat upon them, don’t just go away complaining about it… humble yourself, light a candle and let the better way be revealed. It would probably amaze you how much more you yourself would see by lighting that candle.
The success of one is indeed the success of all. Play your part and share in the success. Light a candle today.
Optimist International Caribbean District