Beacon of Light

06 Feb

Last evening I needed to kill a little time while my husband was at a racing meeting for the upcoming race season.  I decided to visit the local airport in Fergus Falls, Minnesota while he was at his meeting. I have often thought about flying to the airport but haven’t flown there yet.  When I am flying into a new airport I like to be as familiar with the surroundings as much as possible before I take off so I know what to expect upon landing. 

One of the most comforting feelings as a pilot is to see the rotating beacon in the distance as you approach the airport.  It lets you know you are almost there.  It projects a welcoming glow of safety to pilots much like the glow of a lighthouse identifies danger to passing ships on the water. 

Airports are not always easy to find if you are not familiar with the terrain and a lot of small airplanes like the Cessna I fly do not have GPS to identify my location.  I have other means to determine where I am at any given time that I learned in my training.  The rotating beacon confirms for me that I am on the correct path to my destination.

This morning my lesson for my Sunday School class of fourth – sixth graders was based on text from Matthew 5:14-16

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

I didn’t look at my lesson until this morning for my class today.  I love how last evening’s photo and this morning’s lesson fit so well together.  As a pilot it would be very difficult to find the airport without the beacon of light especially at night.  We each need beacons in our lives to show us the safe path to travel.  We also need to be beacons of light and safety for others. 

 This morning in class we discussed the fact that even though they are young there are still others that are observing them.  Many have younger siblings or classmates that are watching them for direction.  Young or old we can be a positive influence of light and safety into the lives of others.


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22 responses to “Beacon of Light

  1. sunshineinlondon

    February 6, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    I love this post, Jeanne, and the learning in it. What a gift for your Sunday School class.
    That verse is one of my favourites – I love the idea of God’s light shining through me, and of being the light of the world. Especially in such a dark world.
    Such a beautiful analogy with the airport beacon but, Jeanne, you know this wasn’t a coincidence, right?
    Sunshine xx

    • flyinggma

      February 6, 2011 at 5:39 pm

      I know it wasn’t a coincidence. Something usually happens throughout my week that has some connection to my upcoming lesson or the previous week’s lesson.

  2. nrhatch

    February 6, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    As Marianne Williamson said so well:

    We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

    To read the full quote:

    • sunshineinlondon

      February 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm

      That is such a beautiful quotation, nrhatch. I love it so much, and it is inspiring indeed. I am South African, so these words – as used by Nelson Mandela – are especially poignant and significant. Thanks!

      • nrhatch

        February 6, 2011 at 6:16 pm

        Thanks, Sunshine. When I first read the quote, it was in a speech by Mandela. On further reading, I learned that he borrowed Marianne’s wise words.

        Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles. New York: HarperCollins (1996)

    • flyinggma

      February 6, 2011 at 5:44 pm

      Thanks for sharing the quote Nancy. It’s the first time I have read it and it fits so well with my lesson today…if only I had read it before this morning’s class. I will be sure to share it next week with my students!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Linda

    February 6, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Thats a fabulous lesson for them, I hope they really took it too heart. Looking back at the time when my daugther went to sunday school is a bad memory for me. i have since found out exactly how mean a lot of those kids were. they were abusive and mean. I even witnessed one of the teachers being so mean one time. they looked good in front of everyone they needed to look good in front of. they were well thought of in church. a few years later it all came falling down. it makes me so mad that all of that time she spent with truly horrible people. there was only one woman who was truly a woman of God. she was the beacon of light, but that wasn’t enough for a shy little girl.

    • flyinggma

      February 6, 2011 at 5:50 pm

      I am so sorry that your daughter had a bad experience. In each profession, church, family….you can find good and bad people. Hopefully your daughter has found other people in her life who love, care and nurture her to be the woman she was born to be.

  4. Linda

    February 6, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    oh sorry i didn’t mean for that too turn out so negative.

    • flyinggma

      February 6, 2011 at 5:54 pm

      Sometimes being able to share our pain of an experience can help it hurt just a little less. There are times in the lives of my children when they have been hurt by the actions of others. It is only natural as a parent to want to shelter them from pain but all we can do is our best to intercede in situations as soon as we know about them and continue to show our children our unconditional love.

  5. Carol Ann Hoel

    February 6, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    What a beautiful post and a great lesson for your students, Jeanne. The beacon in the airport sky is so like the light that we need to shine, a light that shows the way to safety and reflects the Savior’s love for all. I love that childhood song: This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine. Blessings to you…

    • flyinggma

      February 6, 2011 at 9:26 pm

      Thank you Carol. I love that each Sunday before our classes begin we gather together, adults and children, and sing together the songs the children pick out. This little light of mine is one of the favorites of adults and children alike.

  6. writerwoman61

    February 7, 2011 at 5:28 am

    I really like the photo, Jeanne…very geometrical (one of my favourite aspects in art!).


    • flyinggma

      February 7, 2011 at 9:02 am

      Thanks Wendy! One of my favorite parts of art classes was perspective drawing. I think this beacon would have been fun to draw back then.

  7. pearlsandprose

    February 7, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Beautiful post, Jeanne. I like reading about flying because my dad flew his own plane many years ago. He sold the plane when I was really young, so I missed out on that part of this life.

    Kids take in so much. I once asked my then-five-year-old son if he’d heard what I said, and he repeated everything back verbatim. It was several sentences too. I had been careful with what I said to my kids, but I was even more careful after that.

  8. flyinggma

    February 7, 2011 at 11:44 am

    You are right about kids taking in so much. My 18 month old grandson doesn’t talk much yet but boy does he understand. If you give him some directions, he does them. If you ask for something he gets it for you. The ears and the mind work just perfect even if his words don’t work well yet.

    That is so cool about your Dad flying his own plane. I learned after I started flying lessons that my Dad had done the same but never finished.

  9. planejaner

    February 7, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    the photo is lovely…and the message…timeless.
    light, The Light…is everything.
    May we shine Jesus’ light to the world.

    • flyinggma

      February 7, 2011 at 3:31 pm

      Thanks so much for your insightful words Jane. I’m trying to work on the shining part…Somedays are a little dimmer than others. Blessings, Jeanne

  10. tedgriffithphotography

    February 7, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Jeanne, thank you for the photo and the lesson. It is so true that we are to be lights to a dark world, and that as lights we will be watched. I just hope and pray that the light I shine forth leads to the safe haven of God and not the the dagerous shoals of my own ways.

    • flyinggma

      February 7, 2011 at 6:00 pm

      How true Ted. That was exactly the lesson I wanted my students to understand. That if we live as God would have us live and others look at how we live that they will seek His light but if we are not living right and others are watching we can take them down the wrong path into a dangerous place.

  11. 36x37

    February 8, 2011 at 12:01 am

    What a lovely and inspired post, Jeanne. Your Sunday school kids are a lucky bunch.

  12. flyinggma

    February 8, 2011 at 12:07 am

    Thanks Maura. I still love teaching even though I am not at school anymore because of our business. This is one way I can still teach and I love every minute of it.


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