Once a college education professor asked each of us to fill out a survey about ourselves so she could know us better. The last question asked us to put what we would most want our epitaph (I think that's the right word) to say about us...in a few simple words.
I said, "Ray of light."
I have to admit, I borrowed the words from the name of a community service award I received the same semester, but how perfectly they fit the desire I have for my life each day.
I pray God will use me as a ray of light to reflect His joy, love, peace, and faithful presence to others I meet on a daily basis. I want to be more like Him with every step I take.
Often people mention my smile. I guess I don't always realize I am doing it, but I love to smile. Teachers have said, "There's Alicia with that smile..." going down the hallway. The ladies where I exercise said, "I think you'll still be smiling like that when you're 80!" Another friend said to me, "God has you teaching for a reason. You may not always understand why or see the immediate results, but just think of how many lives you have touched with that smile of yours..."
I think that even on days when I don't feel like I've taught all the music objectives and GLEs and curriculum materials I was supposed to...my students remember more about the care and love I have for them. At least, that is what I hope. And if I can leave having brightened one life in a day, I know that I am fulfilling a purpose in spreading the joy of Christ.
I can't help but share with the world that God has given me the joy I share with others. This doesn't always mean that I am "happy" in each moment, or that I don't cry, or have bad days. It simply means that through it all...in any circumstances...I know my Jesus will carry me through and provide contentment and joy that only comes with trusting Him.
So...through my smiles, through my joy, through who I am in Jesus, I hope that one day others will look at me and celebrate me as a "ray of light."
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in Heaven." - Matthew 5:14-16