14 "You are the light of the world."
Matthew 5:14 (ESV)
College presents unique opportunities to interact with and potentially impact others.
For better or worse, athletes can naturally reach more people than the average student, for instance: roommates, peers, professors, coaches, counselors, fans, teammates, opponents and media personnel.
From what I’m told, and have now briefly experienced, nothing is quite like college. Nowhere else do you have the same opportunities and lack of responsibilities. Believe me, you really aren't responsible for much! With that said, it all flies by quickly.
So, how are you taking advantage of what is in front of you? Are you squeezing the most from each moment?
In Matthew 5, Jesus lays out a standard of living for those following Him and explains it through analogies. One of the illustrations He uses is light.
When present, light always functions the same way: It shines and brightens dark areas so that we may see and move without stumbling or falling. Light doesn't pick and choose when to be light, it simply illuminates whatever is around.
Jesus calls us the "light of the world." God uses humans, me and you, to shine His glory throughout the world. What an honor and privilege! What a responsibility!
We can't spend our time trying to hide (Matthew 5:15) and live in the dark when we are intended to shine. We must be boldly bright in a world of darkness. We must shine forth the same love, kindness, joy, mercy and forgiveness that God, through Jesus, poured on us.
And just as regular light doesn't produce itself, but originates from a source, so it is with us. As we shine, the attention gets traced back to our Source, God (Matthew 5:16).
Just as on a warm summer day when people flock to pools and beaches seeking a tan, they feel the warmth of individual rays, but they praise the sun itself for being out and producing the warmth.
So we must shine where we are in all we do. We must embrace and attack practice each day with energy and enthusiasm because we know that having an able body isn't a given. Each time we can put on a jersey and play is a blessing and a gift.
Classes must be seen as opportunities to learn and expand our minds, so we don’t complain, but attend joyfully and study diligently. If we see that a fan’s happiness is more important than our time, we will stop, take a picture, sign an autograph and be amazed God gave us this platform.
Really, we should see all we do as an opportunity to thank God and worship Him (Colossians 3:17). We must strive to let others see God working in our lives and hope our actions point them in His direction!
Reflect: Do I take this responsibility and privilege to represent God to the world seriously? How can I better shine as a light for God?