This is not the exact quote, but I remember hearing something like this once, “Don’t seek the limelight until you have been under the searchlight.” You get the drift, especially if you are a believer and giving God free reign in your life to highlight things that need to change. The searchlight is in order!
I have not and am not seeking the limelight, and I don’t exactly like the searchlight either. But I have been mulling these thoughts over…
I am in a change in my own life. I turned sixty the end of last November, and the additional year has been a rite of passage for me. I see everything with new eyes. I am more aware of what is and is not important to me now. I am feeling the swift passage of time like never before. And I am eager about the future, yet I feel regret and disappointment about certain things. I clearly realize that I must let some things go now, and pursue the most effectual things with renewed passion and energy.
This is not a pessimistic viewpoint rather a good dose of reality that I pray will result in greater eternal multiplication, greater reward.
Now back to the quote: I am not seeking the limelight — have even shied away from it — letting stronger leaders take action. Still as a person that finds myself, more often than not, standing in front of a class teaching or before a team imparting vision, guidance, or direction, I am aware of the calling that has been given.
Although being in the limelight and leading are not necessarily the same, they have the same influence.
Anyone can be in the limelight, but not anyone can lead.
Leaders do take center stage more than others, so that makes them more visible. Flaws become more apparent. Faults can be glaring in the intensity of the direct light of popularity or responsibility. It becomes imperative to allow the searchlight to shine in our hearts, especially in those difficult dark corners.
The best leaders are those who submit in the quiet place to the shining lamp of the Holy Spirit’s searchlight. He is a wonderful and gentle teacher and guide on our journey homeward.
Proverbs 20:27 says it best: The LORD’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive.
Ouch! How true it is. Still it is possible to refuse the LORD’s light and let the secret things stay unhindered. But in time they will hinder…
The wonderful thing about the LORD’s light is that when hidden motives that are impure are revealed, we get a second chance — an opportunity to ask for forgiveness and grace to change.
I am thinking about Mel Gibson right now. After he made “The Passion of Christ,” he became so popular with the secular and believing world. He could almost do no wrong. But soon his vile temper and other base qualities became to surface in public. Suddenly everyone became aware of another side of Mr. Gibson. He had a long tumble down from limelight heights. And mostly this happened because he had not allowed the searchlight of the Lord to examine his heart in the secret place.
I am not just pointing fingers here. That could have been me. I could have been guilty of his sin and worse had the curtains been draw back on my life at various stages. Oh for the grace of God. That could have been me!
I was so touched a few years ago by reading Oswald Chambers life. The famous daily devotional, “My Utmost for His Highest” came from his sermons and teachings. He died at a very young age — in his 40s — and he had already accomplished so much for the Lord.
In his adult life, he was falsely accused of adultery. The accusation broke him, even though he wasn’t guilty and could prove it outwardly. Still, in his heart, he knew he WAS guilty because adultery was in his heart. And he deeply repented.
That could have been me as well, had the curtains been drawn back on my life at certain times.
I am not seeking the limelight or the searchlight, but in this stage of life, I am choosing the searchlight, if I must. It hurts but hurts much less than the long tumble from the limelight. Eventually the searchlight reveals all.
My prayer is shine that lamp on me in secret Lord; it is so much better than in public. And it will leave me in good stead for when the limelight flashes around again.