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BRIGHTEN THE CORNER WHERE YOU ARE

One of my favorite songs as a young boy attending Sunday School is the song “Brighten the corner where you are.”  It is such a lovely song with a lovely tune and a noble message.  As I grew up, I began to understand the message within this captivating song.  The first verse goes like this: –

“Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,

Do not wait to shed your light afar,

To the many duties ever near you now be true,

Brighten the corner where you are.”

The song encourages us to bear good fruit wherever we happen to be planted. This song which tells us that even little deeds matter reminds me of a story I read a while ago. At the funeral of a man who had been part of the team that developed the Boeing 747 aircraft, the Pastor had spoken glowingly about the man’s contribution to Boeing and by extension to the world.  After the Service, the Pastor continued to have a conversation with the widow of the dead man.  She commented on how remarkable it was that her late husband had helped to build that marvelous machine.  The widow then went on to say that the truth is that a large part of her husband’s work had been devoted to this one little switch which she described as being the size of a “loaf of bread.” She added that this was all he worked on for over 15 years, but when the 747 lifted off the ground for the first time, “it was the happiest day of his life.”  One might wonder why such a “small contribution” engendered such happiness in the man or why the Pastor had showered so much praise on him for such a relatively small contribution.  The truth is that without that little switch the B-747 may never have been able to lift off not to talk of performing as creditably as it had over the years. Everyone contributing their little quota is what results in big successes. 

A few years ago, my wife and I, along with the children, had this nasty experience of our car suddenly shutting off on the highway.  While they initially told us that it was due to a malfunctioning alternator, which later metamorphosed into being the whole engine, we later heard of GM’s travails over this little one-dollar switch that had led to deaths of many people who had similar experience as our own. We were inclined to believe that this same switch led to our experience.  I bet the team or the person that designed this little switch must have agonized over the flaw in that little switch.  Little efforts by many people will result in a huge success of the whole body.  All we must do is brighten the corner where we are.  Our main task as Christians is to ensure that we lead others to Christ. If you model Christ in your behavior and outlook to life in your own little corner, wherever that may be, you have a better chance of appealing to people to try this Jesus that you believe in.  The song says, “do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do”, just shine your light so that you can “brighten the corner where you are”. Some folks will come and shine some powerful lights that will brighten everywhere at once and that is okay; the name of the Lord will be blessed.  However, what the Lord asks of us is to, at the least, brighten the corner where we are.

Our Lord, Jesus Christ, asks us to let our light shine before others, that they may see our good deeds and glorify God (Matthew 5:16).  We must let our light shine before the people God places in our paths.  Sometimes the people near us may not want to see the light, but still, we must shine our light for them to see.  Shining our light for someone to see may simply be to patiently support and care for someone in our own homes, or just be there for someone who is going through difficult times or offer some encouragement for someone who just lost a loved one.   It may be saying some kind words to a neighbor or someone we just met or praying for a brother or sister that is on a hospital bed.  Whatever situation we find ourselves, and wherever the Lord has placed us, we must realize that we are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14) and know that we have all it takes to brighten the corner where we are.

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