Have you ever looked at an old candle that has been burning perhaps off and on for days? You may have bought a new one to replace it and you are waiting for this one to finish so you can throw it away and start your pretty new candle. Have you ever really looked at that old candle? It is unique in its own way. It has spent its life glowing brightly with a little flame. It has illuminated your life in a small way, each time you looked at it, it touched you somehow. It brought good thoughts or feelings to you, perhaps scented the area with its unique fragrance.
Think back to when you brought it home. It was a brand new candle. It looked like all the others on the shelf. But somehow it was the one you put your hands on. Or perhaps someone else picked it out and gave it to you. It is the candle that was meant to make you feel good. Maybe when you first lit it, it replaced another old candle that had been burning for days as well.
Was it supposed to be a dripless candle that dripped anyway? Or did it just burn down into itself, glowing from within and slowly getting shorter and shorter? Really look at it now. It is unique. It has served you in the only way it could. It is not like the other candles in the store now. In fact, there are no other candles anywhere in the world exactly like this one. It is old.
Instead of wishing it would finish so you can start a new one, really enjoy its unique qualities. It may have a glob of wax that ran out or it may have a smooth rounded shape. Maybe it has gotten short and fat. Look for the uniqueness of it. As it finishes, think of the simple pleasure it brought you, how things dont always have to be complicated and beauty is always glowing somewhere. As it flickers out, let it go graciously for it has completed what it came into your life to do.
Of course candles are not living objects but they do touch us in a special unique way. Just as the people in our lives touch us in a special unique way. As people get older they may have problems, like the glob of wax that ran over the candle. Sometimes people get short and fat too. But our time here is also limited. And we all touch each others lives in some unique way.
As people get older, they become more unique and unlike anyone else for their lives are different from anyone else's life in the world. How nice it would be to appreciate their uniqueness and to thank them for touching your life the way they have. It is always hard to watch someone you love get old, but thank God for the warm glow of their love that has come into your life as it has. And thank God that unlike the candle, when our time here has ended, it is actually a new beginning for us. Thank God.
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