Plugged In

September 1, 2023


Back to School? Make sure you’re connected to the right source

When the school year begins, I like to recall funny things written in yearbooks. In one, a guy named Amith wrote: “I am not Amith. I am a legend.” Eric wrote, “Good grades are important, but big biceps are importanter.”

Like Eric, school was not my forte. Apart from recess, lunch, and PE, I struggled. My friends borrowed my report cards just to scare their parents.

Someone said, “Everything’s better after high school. You’ll love the freedom!” They lied. Unless you stay home with Mommy, you have to clean your clothes, pay your utility bills, and craft your own Kraft dinner. After high school comes more school and bills and bosses and car repairs and a mortgage and marriage and little kids. So what’s my advice to those in school?

More than a century ago, when electricity was a novelty, a wealthy old woman who was known for being chintzy had her home wired for electricity. Forgive the pun, but her neighbourswere shocked. When the power company guy read her meter, he saw that she’d barely used any power. “Ma’am,” he said, “Are you using electricity?” “Yes,” she said. “Those new electric lights are very handy.” “But, your meter indicates you hardly used any electricity at all. How often do you turn on the lights?” “Well,” she replied, “I turn them on every evening.” “For how long?” “Less than a minute,” she said. “Just long enough to light my candles, then I turn them off again.”

Many of us live this way. Unaware that the greatest power source in the universe is available to us, we plug in briefly to light our own candles before they flicker and fade. We forget that we were wired to find our identity, our purpose, our hope in God.

When I kissed high school goodbye, I had little idea of where I was headed. Many offered wise advice: have good friends, marry well, avoid debt, work hard, don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things.

But the single best advice I’ve ever received was this: plug into the one power source that will not fail: God Himself, through faith in His son Jesus. When life was so dark I could barely breathe, He gave enough light for the next step. He alone provides the pathway to lasting joy. Reminds me of Anna who wrote in her yearbook, “I would like to thank my arms for always being by my side. My legs for always supporting me and finally my fingers; because I could always count on them.”

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