Ruminations: Solar

This congregation knows all about solar power. Those big panels in our parking lot serve as a continual reminder of how renewable energy connects to our spiritual values.

Our household has a similar, although much smaller, device for outdoor holiday lights. Although the extent of our outdoor decorations this year is a string of multicolored LED lights wrapped around our lamp post, this dainty strand of lights is solar powered!

Instead of plugging into an electrical outlet, there’s a little panel that collects energy from the sun and uses that energy to power the lights once it gets dark. It’s like a flimsy little version of the solar panels in the church parking lot.

Now, this panel has to be positioned correctly in order for us to have festive lights on our lamp post. It doesn’t take a lot of sunshine to give the string of lights power, but the panel has to be facing in the right direction.

I’ve learned from experience that if the little panel is knocked over, or it’s facing the house for some reason, those little lights won’t get the energy they need to shine. They’ll stay dark and very un-festive.

If you’ve read any of these little reflections, I’m sure you know where I’m headed. Just like my little LED lights, we have to soak in enough light from energizing sources if we want to shine. It doesn’t necessarily take a lot to give us the power we need, but we at least have to be facing in the right direction to be energized.

If I face in the direction of things that disempower, discourage, and dishearten me, I’m not going to be able to shine very well. I might be very un-festive, to say the least. But if I take care to face in the direction of those things that bring me hope, encouragement, and delight, I’ll have an easier time shining my own light.

So, what direction are you facing? What are your sources of empowerment and hope? Are you soaking them in?

Rev. Randy Partain