Choose Light and Life
by Cyndi Sikora
We all have times in our life when we see the world through the light or the dark. There is a
wall mural I passed daily on my way to work that caught my attention in this respect. It is a
picture of a sidewalk and store fronts, that from left to right moves from dark to light. When I
first saw this mural, I was going through a dark, difficult time and I thought they were real
people. It took a few weeks before I realized they were not moving, and that I was only seeing
those in the dark. I didn’t even notice the people in the light. The dark side shows people
yelling, scared kids, an elderly man sitting by himself, and others with crossed arms, angry faces
and backs turned to the person next to them. The light side shows people playing games,
sweeping the sidewalk, painting a store front, holding a food drive, and smiling.
It took about 3 and a half years before I looked more at the people in the light on a consistent
basis. I had to be intentional in choosing the light side first, on this wall and in my life.
I chose Light.
During those 3 and a half years of dark days I remember having to challenge myself to keep up
with the celebrations, traditions and volunteering I was a part of in my community, especially
when I was not feeling up for these events. I chose to focus on the light amid my darkness. I
continued the tradition of picking out a live Christmas tree with my daughters and putting lights
on it, adding candles to birthday cakes to bring light to celebrations, and volunteering my time
to help the community. These were distractions, light in the dark days. I had to choose to see
the flickers of light and life in these moments. They reminded me that the light always gets
through the crack.
During this same time in my life, I found in a new job that even my coworkers preferred to work
in the dark. Literally the lights were off in the room. I was in disbelief the first time I walked
into this dark room. I tried addressing working in the dark several times, explaining how I can’t
work in the dark, but nothing changed. Until I decided to choose light over the darkness. If I
couldn’t change the light in the room, I could change the light I brought to the room.
“… Choose life …” (Dt 30:19)
So, I chose to start out by simply smiling, through the darkness as I encountered my co-workers.
I was truly amazed and uplifted by the difference that smiling made. Over time, the company
decided to make an intentional culture change and announced that we would be working with
the lights on. This decision brought a smile to my face and many of my co-workers faces too.
Now we could all enjoy each other more, in the Light.
I’ve learned through my journey from darkness to light that I must choose the light over the
darkness, life over death, whether it’s through my personal choice of how I live, who I serve
through my volunteering or how I choose to interact with my co-workers. I always have the
choice to choose life and not death, light and not darkness. You too have this same choice.
Trust me, even on my hardest days I fought to choose light and life. It’s easy for the world to
convince you to choose darkness and death, just remember it’s your choice to choose light and
life. (Sir 15:17)