One of the things I hate the most about homeownership is changing the light bulbs. My kitchen alone has 10 bulbs not including the one above the stove and each bathroom has 6. It seems that one of them is always burning out. Some of the bulbs I notice as soon as they go out- their impact on the room is obvious, but others aren’t.
Recently the light fixture above my dining room table had 2/6 of the bulbs burned out. I knew they were out, but kept putting off changing them. After a while I hardly noticed their absence. One evening I finally removed the two spent bulbs and twisted in their replacements. As the new bulbs lit up I was shocked by how much brighter the room was. Just two simple incandescent bulbs made a striking difference.
By walking through life each day with burned out light bulbs, I got used to the less than perfect view. Replacing the broken lights provided a stark realization of what I was missing. The new bulbs gave light to the shadows of what lay before me on the table. My perspective was altered by what was missing and changed again when what was missing was replaced.
This simple chore reminded me that I often allow myself to live life with a few bulbs burned out. I describe myself as responsible, hard-working, dependable and a perfectionist. Truthfully, this often leads to living life without rest, which leads to living without full vision. When I walk through life this way, burning dimly and not valuing rest, I cannot do what I am called or committed to well. Much like fresh light bulbs are important in my kitchen, rest provides invaluable perspective and self-care. Truth is, all of our lives suffer when we don’t value rest and when we force ourselves to carry on even when we feel dim. I want to live a life that is brightly lit, not dimly. I want to live a life that has room for great things because I choose rest over good things. I’m going to change my light bulbs, real and metaphorical, when they burn out.