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The Lighthouse Effect

When I speak publicly, I often refer to the lighthouse effect. In addition, I often end our family prayer for years with “Let us be a beacon of Christ’s light for others to see.” Regardless of your religious affiliation and even if you don’t subscribe to any religion at all, the lighthouse effect is a truth that can change your life.

You see, lighthouses have a special job. They focus only on being the light that others can be drawn to for safety and refuge. They never focus on calming the storm, instead, they stand firm and stand tall, never wavering. Their job is to be a strong leader.

The man in the boat may be afraid. He may be facing big waves of trials and tribulations. The lighthouse doesn’t look at the man in the boat and say, “Sorry, you knew better than to get out into this storm.” He doesn’t say, “Let me turn off my light because you are not worthy of it.” Nor does he run out into the water to try to save the man in the boat, drowning them both. No, he stands tall, shining his light brightly and offering the best that he has to offer.

Sometimes in life, we are the man in the boat. Sometimes we can’t see past our sea of troubles. We forget to look for the light, Instead trying to calm the sea, to handle the situation ourselves. We feel our troubles are so big that we must only rely on ourselves to fix them. Our eyes are only focused on ourselves and never on others, even others who may be able to help us.

I believe that if we surround ourselves with a small set of incredible people. A good spouse, a few good friends, and a strong faith that we can weather any storm. If we become the “beacon of light for others to see” we will be that lighthouse. And, when we are the man in the boat, we will remember to look up and follow the example set forth by our tight knit group who will be shining and sharing their own beacons.

Ninety percent of the time we should focus on being the lighthouse, but 10% we will inevitably be the man in the boat. If you find that your percentages are off and you feel like 90% of the time you are in the boat, perhaps it’s time to do two things. First, look up and follow the beacon of light to safer ground. Don’t argue with the light or fight it, just follow it. Second, as soon as you get to higher ground, don’t run back out to the sea, instead stand tall, stand firm and be that

beacon of light for others to follow.

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