During one of the mission trips I took to Kenya I was introduced to a beautiful Swahili word, angaza. It means “illumination” or “light.” More specfically “be light.” Doesn’t it just roll off your tongue… angaza… “be light,” angaza… “light.”
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:6
For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. (NIV)
Notice, God did not command the light to shine into the darkness. God commanded the light to shine out of darkness – God literally commanded the darkness to produce light! The light Paul is speaking about is more than just visual, it’s spiritual angaza. It is the angaza that God desires to be the compass of our hearts. Light that reflects the True Light of Christ illuminating the darkness out of us. It is what I want all I meet to see – even before they see me. But…, sometimes I fail at this.
The week I left for vacation, every moment was filled, and life was traveling faster than a speeding train. Before I knew it, my angaza dimmed and flickered. Sort of like a flashlight does when the batteries begin to fail. Only, it wasn’t God’s light growing dim, for the One who created light, and is The Light in me never grows dim or goes out.
It was me - all the busyness, I let suppress Christ’s light. Frustration and anxiety set in. Darkness began to cloud my spirit. Busyness can do that, and so can a host of other maladies (anger, hate, depression, guilt, loneliness, selfishness, ego, greed, prejudice) block out our Sonlight. When Christ’s light is shining in us, just like a flaslight, it will illuminate to everyone in the room. It is not selective, it shines for all, it includes all.
I don’t know how it is with you, but every now and again, I have to remind myself God is ever ready to shine His light, His angaza in me and from me, but only to the extent I make room for it in my life. How about you? Are you letting your angaza shine as brightly as it can? If not, what is keeping it turned down?
God of Creation, you are the Angaza of my life. Thank you Lord that your light can be a constant in my life no matter what shadows threaten to dim it. If I should flicker in the busy days ahead, command your light to shine out of my darkness. Lift up the light of your countenance that it will shine brightly in me. In Christ’s name, Amen.
In His Word,
Reverend Dee Dee