People have great aspirations, ambitions, and dreams. Younger people aspire more and want to accomplish certain things in their lifetime. However, most cultures do not allow them to soar like eagles. They are like caged birds or birds whose wings are cut. Even family members could do this damage. Joseph’s brothers wanted to snuff out his life so that his dreams are nullified but restrained by his eldest brother; then they stuffed him as slave. However, God made him shine in Egypt.
1) Stuffed in: In many cultures, there are traditions. Culture says: Be Stuffed in. That means, a person must be within the systems, even though it is suffocating and destructive. Taliban rulers in Afghanistan follow this policy and philosophy. Women must be stuffed in, suffocated, and die and with them all their dreams. They cannot have education, work outside home, travel alone…etc.
2) Snuffed out: The fatalistic worldview does not give any dreams or aspirations or hopes. A person is born in a caste that is preordained to be washerman; then that man cannot dream to become a doctor; aspire to be a politician or hope for better economic status. Their spirit to live, enjoy, dream, or aspire is snuffed out. Their life is just the existence or survival of their physical bodies.
3) Shine forth: Prophet Isaiah gives a message of hope: Arise and Shine as light has come and the glory of God has risen upon you. (Isaiah 60:1) The light of the Lord, His Word, the Gospel is dynamic that transforms any person. Those who look upon him, their faces will be radiant, and they will not be ashamed. (Psalms 34:5) God’s light breaks out as truth that will annihilate all cultural bondages, worldview prisons and allows a person to be free. (John 8: 32)
You are neither Stuffed In nor Snuffed Out. You are called to Shine Forth. Culture and Religion will imprison you while the gospel will set you free to be light of the world
Have I risen to shine for His glory?