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A Year to Light the Way

AdventHealth Tim Cook

Spectrum is honored to partner with AdventHealth for a bi-monthly series in 2024. Every other month we will publish an essay in which an AdventHealth executive will share a spiritual reflection drawn from their personal and professional commitment to healthcare and Adventist mission.

One of the many realities of aging has been a renewed appreciation for, and dependence on, light. To reduce the strain on my eyes, I’ve turned up the light on my phone and computer. I’ve also noticed that night driving has lost its appeal for me. Maybe you can relate if you’ve walked into a room at night trying to find your bearings or, as I have, stepped on a stray LEGO in a darkened room; things that we could have avoided in the light.

Today, light has a new meaning for me. I wish for it more than I ever did before.

The function of light is to dispel darkness. You cannot command the darkness to go away. Instead, you must fill the space with light. This was true at the beginning of earth’s creation. “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was over the face of the deep… Then God said, ‘Let there be light’…. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from darkness” (Genesis 1:2-4, ESV). 

Jesus underscored the importance of light when He said, “I am the Light of the World.” (John 8:12, ESV). But he didn’t stop at that. The very Creator of light, who calls Himself the Light of the World, challenged each of us to follow His example and be a spiritual light wherever we are. He said:

“You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill cannot be hidden. People do not light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.” Jesus then added: “In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16, NET).  

Let your light shine! It’s a bold and clear challenge. It’s also a statement filled with hope and optimism. God has called us—invited us really—to be a beacon for everyone to see that He will replace darkness with light, hopelessness with expectation and anxiety with peace.

But how can we be a spiritual light?

I’d like to offer observations about light that can guide us:

  • Light is silent: No noise, no big splash, no banners – light simply shines. It’s like a lighthouse rising above a dark, rugged shoreline. All it does is shine.
  • Light gives direction: No words, no sermon. Jesus reminds us that others “see” our actions rather than “hear” our words. So, what kind of Christian example are we being? 
  • Light attracts attention: You don’t have to ask people to look at you when you turn on a light in a dark room. It happens automatically.
  • Light emanates from a source of energy: If there’s no connection to a source, there is no light! For us to be the light that Jesus calls us to be, we must be connected to the Light of the World personally. Once we plug into the Source, we can shine!

As we journey through this year, the AdventHealth team will return to the theme “Light the Way” in all our official meetings and functions to remind ourselves that our healing ministry requires that we invoke the ultimate Source of illumination, so we leave no darkened corner of our communities untouched.

Let’s pursue daily the connection to the light source so that the light of God’s love and passion for others can be seen by and extended to every person we meet.

About the author

Timothy Cook is senior vice president and chief mission integration officer for AdventHealth. More from Timothy Cook.
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