Like a little candle

In his resignation speech last month, SNP leader Houmza Yousaf uttered a statement that I have not heard from any public leader for a long time.

“I am not willing to trade my values and principles, or do deals with whomever, simply for retaining power”

As I talk to people in my daily life I detect a strong disillusionment with our political class. Whether true or not there is a strong belief that many of our politicians are merely driven by self interest. In turn that has generated a sense of bewilderment in terms of who to vote for at the next election. As I pondered Houmza Yousaf’s words I found myself asking another question. Why do I vote? What motivates me to choose a party or its leader? Do I vote someone in because I genuinely think they will make a difference to society or because they promise to give me what I want?

As I pondered this I asked myself a more challenging question. Am I in this world just for me or do I genuinely want to make a difference for others? Do I want to help mend broken lives or just focus on me?Jesus challenges me to be what he terms “salt and light” in this world.  In his society salt both preserved food and gave it taste. Being light means showing the way, In my behaviour he asks me to provide a good flavour to my society and to be a beacon of light to those around me. An old Sunday school hymn says the following words:

“Jesus bids us shine,
With a clear, pure light,
Like a little candle burning in the night;
In this world of darkness, we must shine,
You in your small corner,
And I in mine”.

Old fashioned perhaps, but the hymn carries a powerful message. I may not be able to control ultimately what my government does, but I can control what I do. My new leader might let me down, but I can make sure that I don’t let others down, I can be salt and light where I am. I can make a difference where I am if I choose. The good news is that you can as well.