The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Life!

October 20, 2012

Keeping your face toward the Light

Keeping The Faith column

 

Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published Aug. 19, 2006. Davis passed away Aug. 1, 2010, of a sudden illness.

By now, most of us have noticed a significant change in the amount of daylight. Since the middle of June, we’ve been losing about a minute of it per day.

I have to start mowing grass earlier in the evening. It’s still dark when I get up in the morning.

I’m already dreading the time when it will be dark by 5:30 p.m. I’m not a person who sees fall and winter as a good time to “cozy-in,” as a friend of mine puts it.

I definitely prefer sunlight — lots of it — and long evenings with extended daylight that accommodate outdoor activities.

As I was lamenting the long evening shadows that have already started to fall, I thought of this story.

A young boy sat anxiously by his mother’s bed. Fever and pain made the frail woman beneath the feathertick incoherent and restless. An operation could have saved her life, but the oil lamps in the dimly lit farmhouse didn’t provide enough light for the doctor to perform the delicate, tedious surgery. They would have to wait until morning, he told the family.

His hands tightly clasped in prayer, the boy petitioned Heaven fervently that his mother would live until daylight. By the time first light crept softly along the mountain ridge, however, the woman had slipped silently into eternity.

The pain of loss inspired the boy to make a promise to himself. Fifteen years later Thomas Edison invented the incandescent light bulb. “From the night my mother died, I knew I had to find a way to bring light into the darkness,” Edison told one biographer. He found a way to turn pain into progress, disappointment into discovery and night into day.

Edison’s challenge is open to each of us today. It’s a matter of making choices. Life sets before us a smorgasbord of joy, sorrow, victory, defeat, challenge, monotony, grief, growth, order and chaos.

If we select the positives, we have to be willing to tackle the obstacles that go with them. Nothing good comes easily.

Turning tragedy into triumph often involves great pain. Finding a way to get beyond the hurt and begin rebuilding our lives begins with the attitude that everything life presents us offers a lesson. Someone has aptly said, “Life is tough, because it gives us the test first and the lesson later.”

I seem to recall Edison had more than 600 failures before the light of day passed through a cord and into the tiny filament inside the light bulb. Each time, he recorded in his journal, “I have discovered one more thing that will not work. I must keep pressing on until I find the one thing that does work.”

Instead of focusing on the increasing darkness the change of seasons will bring into my life, it’s my prayer that I will look for ways to bring more light into the lives of others.

As the seasons of my own life change, I plan to keep my face toward the Light, so that the long shadows will fall behind me.

1
Text Only
Life!
  • momrun Just do it W.Va.!

    “Missy’s here — we’re not going to win. Missy’s here…”
    Learning she was a perceived threat from two women whispering at the starting line behind her, women she had never met from among the hopping, stretching, Lycra-clad crowd, had one effect on Missy Burleson — a smile spreading as far as her feet were about to sprint her.

    April 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • living will 1 Decision day

    Pastor Roger Pauley and his wife Marcia were — like so many other baby boomers — charged with the responsibility of making decisions for their aging parents. For the pastor’s father, death was sudden.

    April 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • BAF approves community grants

    Beckley Area Foundation Board of Directors has approved $160,737 to fund forty-four projects throughout Raleigh County between April 2014 and March 2015.

    April 13, 2014

  • Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg unveils upcoming events

    Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg has a variety of events planned for the spring and summer.

    April 13, 2014

  • Singer named an Outstanding Young American

    President Bill Clinton, Elvis Presley, Wayne Newton and General Chuck Yeager have one thing in common, they are all past recipients of the United States Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Americans award. For over 75 years, the United States Junior Chamber (Jaycees) has recognized the 10 young men and women – under the age of 40 – who best exemplify the highest attributes of the nation’s emerging generation. The U.S. Jaycees is pleased to name West Virginia’s own Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. to the 2014 Ten Outstanding Young Americans who will be honored at the 76th annual black-tie awards ceremony – to be held June 28, 2014, at the BWI Airport Marriott Hotel in Baltimore, MD.

    April 13, 2014

  • alderson americorps Alderson Main Street welcomes its new Americorps member

    The members and friends of Alderson Main Street welcomed their new Americorps member, Lynda Howe, at its recent monthly meeting.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tractor pull event coming to State Fairgrounds in May

    The West Virginia Grand Nationals N.T.P.A. Championship pulling event debuts at the State Fair Event Center in Lewisburg Memorial Day weekend.

    April 13, 2014

  • Djembes Drumming workshop to be held

    The New River Community and Technical College Office of Workforce Education is sponsoring a Djembes Drumming workshop on Tuesdays for six weeks beginning April 29.

    April 13, 2014

  • Learn basic sewing at NRCTC

    The New River Community and Technical College Office of Workforce Education will offer a basic sewing class in Lewisburg in May.

    April 13, 2014

  • floral painting GVT to showcase work of Genevieve Sowards Gillen

    Greenbrier Valley Theatre is exhibiting the art and photography of Genevieve Sowards Gillen during April. Her pieces are on display in the theatre foyer: three pastel, four acrylic, and a number of photographs on stretch canvas.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo