Many of us may have read about light bulbs recently (Time, May 20). The top bulb is the LED at $12.97 giving 25,000 hours of light; with normal use lasting for decades.
Giving 6,000 hours of light was the pigtailed compact fluorescent with a $7.95 price tag.
With some grand 21st century nanotechnology, the old incandescent is now shining brighter and longer and still plenty cheap for purchasing at $2.55; but we’re in the dark a whole lot sooner — after 1,500 hours. With a typical three hours daily use, the LED costs only $ 1.14 a year, the compact fluorescent $1.45 and the incandescent $2.55.
The financial figures are quite convincing. By far in the long run, the LED is the choice. The 2007 light-bulb law signed by President Barack Obama requires light-bulb manufacturers to continue to increase energy efficiency. This law is and will preserve energy resources, reduce emission harmful to our environment and we Americans to experience a savings of billions in our electric bills.
One thing is for sure — we all must have light to live and work. Without light we are blind. Light is an absolute necessity to see the truth and reality of what is around us.
Jesus is identified [John 1:9] as “the true light that gives light to every person…;” not as some kind of artificial light that penetrates the natural darkness, like light bulbs; but rather to enlighten us to see the needed relationship between ourselves as creatures and our Creator; an enlightenment that enables us to have purpose and direction, finding fulfillment and joy here and hereafter.
Joltingly that same evangelist writes a few verses later [John 3:19] “But people loved darkness instead of light and they chose evil.”
Why do people turn their back on a light and life that is forever more? It seems that it could be compared to attractiveness of light bulbs with a low up-front purchase price — a $3.49 incandescent compared to a fluorescent $7.95 or a LED for $12.97. For the here and now the incandescent is the winner; but in the long run it is the big loser; with a cost many times greater than the other two.
Loving darkness and choosing sin and the pleasures of the moment are the easiest, most natural and attractive paths for us all. To be good, reflecting the immeasurable goodness and love of our Creator and to follow his command that we love him and one another, is supernatural (born again of God’s life), empowered to look beyond ourselves, and be servants of others. “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”
Daily we face a dark world of self-service or the bright light of loving others; to live in the clutches of Satan or the loving arms of our Father.
The Rev. John Burkhart Ph.D, is a retired Episcopal priest and professor of psychology
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