Friday, July 21, 2006

What are the Questions?

What are the questions? Are they even the right questions?
Those are the things I brood over when I'm in a brooding mood.

I was watching a candle burn in chapel... really watching it.

It's been hot here lately and we have a fan going that oscillates back and forth to spread a little breeze to everyone. When that breeze passes over the candles they flicker, one will gut if the fan's on high. (Luckily it's the Gospel candle... good thing.) The Gospel candle never stands alone. I was taught that to learn the correct order for lighting and snuffing. (inside sacristan jargon)

What is my purpose in this lifetime? What is the candle's purpose?

To give light... to burn brightly. Not to melt wax... not in swoopy artistic drips down the side, not to gather the biggest pool of wax at the base, not to maintain the tallest wick, not to maintain the integrity of its original shape or color... the candle's purpose is to burn brightly. To give light to the darkness, to consume itself and all its resources to give that light. Not such a bad purpose for anyone, let alone an inanimate object.

If the wick is too tall, the flame will gut in the breeze. If too much wax pools near the wick, it burns too slowly, doesn't shed much light. If it burns too quickly and drips artistically, the darkness is absorbed by the artwork. None of these things contribute to the purpose of the candle. What can I learn from the candle?

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