I’m always in search of products that change the way I do life. Products that make my life simpler, better, with less clutter, and sometimes cheaper. Enter in the light bulb. Yes, the light bulb. Over the past years I’ve struggled to find just the right one. If you are anything like me, light bulbs have become complicated. I mean, let’s face it. There are two aisles at Target with light bulbs. Let’s not even talk about the light bulb aisle at Lowe’s or Home Depot. I mean, really? Who do they think I am? Thomas Edison?
Like you, I have all sorts of fixtures in my house – ceiling fan lights, lamps, night lights, just plain ol’ overhead lights – and they all require different bulbs. Then I debate which one is more cost effective, uses less energy, is this type of light output better for my family’s health, and so on. Then I can’t remember which fixture needs which type of bulb when I’m at the store. Is it the skinny screw in type or the fat one? Or does it require those prong thingies? I’m sure there’s better terminology, but I have no idea what it is. Oh, I forgot wattage. That’s another thing that throws me for a loop. Do I get a 40, 60, 75, or 100 watt bulb? Throw in CFL’s and full spectrum versus just plain old incandescent, then there’s the halogen. Needless to say when I have to purchase a new light bulb it’s like a scavenger hunt and really, it’s just not fun spending that much time looking at light bulbs. So when a light bulb goes out at my house, it may stay out for awhile. My family and I get comfortable and adjust to the lack of light.
A couple of weeks ago, it happened. We had two or three bulbs go out at the same time in different rooms and you’re probably wondering why? Here’s why. I wait and replace a whole bunch of bulbs at the same time, therefore they all go out at the same time. Off I go to Target to get light bulbs because my house has been thrown into darkness. So there I am in the light bulb aisle and I remember the guest speaker from church a few weeks back. “You can make a huge impact in climate change by changing just one light bulb from incandescent to LED.” It may not be an exact quote but that’s how I remember it. A cute little light bulb emoji popped up over my head in Target! This could help me narrow down the choices and LED bulbs are on sale!! Talk about seeing the light! So, I bought several different varieties – the skinny screw in, fat screw in, 40 watt and 60 watt and was off to get “other stuff”. I am at Target after all.
When I got home I started replacing the light bulbs. It’s the middle of winter in Pennsylvania and light of any sort is a scarcity. And ta-da there was light! So much light that my family noticed and they commented. At first we just talked about how good it made us feel, and then I couldn’t help but share that the LED bulbs were on sale. I love a good sale but my family does not share my affinity for sales. Then the unthinkable happened. I could see the floor and the rug. Oh not so good! It was filthy! I mean really filthy! Now because I had seen the light I began replacing all of my light bulbs with the LED bulbs. For each room that I put a LED bulb in the light fixture it was the same; remarkable light and then the realization that something needed to be cleaned. When doing the laundry room I had that laundry commercial effect. You know the one, “your whites aren’t white” one. One of the overhead lights in my bathroom has been out for months. I haven’t been able to bring myself to switch it out to the LEDs. I’m afraid of what that will expose. I mean really, I have to take a shower in there and I want to stay in denial just a little bit longer about some things. I’m a work in progress!
All this reminded me of another woman, a Samaritan woman at the well. I’m just like her. We were both looking for simpler, easier, a bit confused, perhaps, and a better product. She might as well have been standing in the Target aisle debating which light bulb to purchase. If you need a refresher you can read her account in John 4:1-42. Essentially Jesus gave her better water and exposed things in her life that she didn’t want to see. Things she had just adjusted to or areas where she had became comfortable. What did she do? She didn’t bury her head in shame. She went and told people. “Come see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”
She was excited, she had gotten a good deal, a better product and guess what? People noticed and people believed. “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” John 4:42
God wants to be in our lives; in the mundane parts, the getting water parts, the light bulb parts. He wants to show us places where we’ve just adjusted and gotten comfortable. Places that could be better if we just had better lighting or fresher water. And not only that, but when we figure out that we can have something better; we tell people!
So for now I’ve found a new product that I love and makes my life better even if it means I’ve got some cleaning to do. And yes, I will get around to putting LED bulbs in the bathroom!