It’s the most American of holidays and a rite of summer for so many of us. Barbecues, carnivals and—of course—fireworks.
I grew up in New York City, in a building that overlooked the East River. Every year my family and I would go to the rooftop so that we could get as close as possible to those famous Macy’s Fireworks. They seemed so beautiful, so magical—almost heaven-sent. I would gaze at the sky in awe.
As an adult, I wasn’t that impressed by fireworks anymore. But one year, I was visiting Mom on July 4 and she called me to the window. Watching the sky light up and hearing her oohs and aahs, I got caught up in the excitement too.
That’s when I started thinking about what fireworks could teach us about faith. Sure, it would be great if we all maintained faith as big and as bold as those fireworks displays all the time. But that doesn’t always happen. We have doubts; we turn away from God at times.
But fireworks can remind us to pause—and look upward. To look toward God—and toward the beauty he can bring to our lives—if only we pay attention. As Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
I hope you catch a beautiful fireworks display this Fourth of July. More important, I hope you let your life, and your faith, sparkle all summer and all year long.