Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Shining Life

Shining Life
By Brenda Black

Lindsay's lemon yellow scarf matched her sunny smile as she sat across from me in a busy college cafeteria. In the midst of all the chaos, we talked about goals and God and life and lessons. And when we departed, I said good bye to a twenty-year-old woman who knows exactly what she wants out of life.

I have yet to encounter this vivacious coed when she is not overflowing with joy. I first met Lindsay when she came home from college with my son and a group of their friends last summer. She captured my heart with her eager desire to try anything with great abandon and enjoy it thoroughly! On that initial visit, she thought the grilled burgers were the best, she giggled with delight when she rode our blue roan mare and she hopped like a frog on the living room floor to win over the affections of my five-year-old niece. Yes, I understood instantly why Lindsey was so adored by her buddies. She brings sunshine into the world.

On a day six months beyond our first meeting, summer weather was replaced by a frigid morning. The journey to the campus was blanketed by an icy fog that hung cold and heavy. But as the sun began to burn through the crystal vapors, pastures of snow shimmered and frosty trees sparkled with diamond clusters. I watched a gigantic orange ball race mile for mile with us, peeking through patches of misty fog and latticed tree limbs. The temperature rose in its presence and the fog vanished. I didn't know how symbolic that would be until I sat and talked with Lindsey.

Every time I visit my son's college, I get to meet more of his friends and get to know them better. I always pick their brains and love hearing them tell about their majors, their career plans and their families back home. So my visit with Lindsay was pleasantly typical. I asked her about some of those big life decisions and she answered gladly.

When the topic of a future career and marriage merged at the table, I sat amazed by her definitive answer. Surrounded by peers, she boldly declared, “It doesn't really matter what my husband does for a job, it matters that he is whole-heartedly in love with the Lord.” I smiled and nodded, deeply aware of the importance of her mandate, as I sat next to my godly husband. “You are so right,” I chimed and grinned.

Lindsay has the answers even if she has yet to face all the questions that she'll confront. And a few more young, eager students that chattered and dined on that sunny, winter day possibly had it confirmed in their minds as well. As they pursue higher education, one solid truth never changes. The greatest commandment is putting God first no matter what you pursue or dream or plan in life.

“One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, 'Of all the commandments, which is the most important?'

“'The most important one,' answered Jesus, 'is this: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no commandment greater than these.'” (Mark 12:28-31)

Like thousands of other college students, Lindsay may not know exactly where she wants to work or if and when and who she will marry, but she knows Who she wants supervising her career and all of her life. She wants Christ as her CEO and life planner and intends to keep Him as the leader.

Maybe it wasn't her radiant smile or contagious enthusiasm that drew me to love Lindsay instantly. I think it must have been the Son inside of her that beamed as bright as any summer day and warmed my soul on a frigid one as well.

“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” (Psalm 37:3-6)

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