Life Savers

One of my favorite stories my parents used to tell me is the time my dad took my mom ‘sparking’ on a date.  Being the science nerd he is (I’m proud to say my geekiness is inherited) he took her up into the mountains, popped a wintergreen Life Saver into his mouth and proceeded to bite down on it in order to give off tiny flashes of light.  Romantic, right?

If you’ve never tried this, you really should.  It’s one of those amazing things that happen in everyday life.  It’s a process called triboluminescence.  Light is emitted when you compress a crystal.  It happens when you strike two quartz crystals together or when tiny sugar crystals in a Life Saver grind against one another.

I think triboluminescence represents what happens in each of our lives.  We go along, content with the way things are and not really focused on the things of eternity.  But then something happens that puts some pressure on us.  It could be something large or it could be a million tiny things that simply add together.  Either way we can react the way a crystal does, by giving off light.  We can choose to allow the stresses to strip away all the stuff that doesn’t really matter so that we can focus on what is truly important.

When this happens it not only benefits us, but the light we give off helps to point others in the right direction as well.  When I see others pull through difficulties it strengthens me and gives me hope.

So when things get rough grab a wintergreen Life Saver and remember that things happen for a reason.  The Lord will not only help us to survive, but to shine.

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