The Lamp and the Lantern

The Lamp and the Lantern

One day a lamp and a lantern decided to take a walk together through the country. The lantern had no oil and the wick was short, so it decided to take the walk without a light. But the lamp was full of oil and its wick was clean and the flame was burning brightly.

They had not gone very far when they met an old man, stooped and bent, resting on a rock beside the road. "Good-morning," said the lamp, "I see you are tired, is there anything that I can do to help you?"

"No, thank you, thank you very, very much," replied the old man as a wide smile spread over his face, "I haven't far to go; the rest has done me good, I will be getting along now."

"A fine old gentleman, he is," said the lamp to the lantern as they proceeded along their way.

"I don't see anything good about him," replied the lantern. "He is old and stooped, and his face is covered with wrinkles. I do not like the way he smiles. I think he is lazy; that is why he is sitting on that rock so early in the morning."

To this the lamp replied: "Indeed, he is old; God has allowed him to live many years. He, no doubt, is stooped because he has worked hard. And when he smiled he smiled with his whole face, and that is the reason he showed so many wrinkles."

"Well," said the lantern, "you see good where there is no good."

"Ah, but that is where you are wrong," answered the lamp, "if we look for it we can find good everywhere."

The sun was shining brightly and was very hot when they came to the edge of a long meadow.

"It would have to be so terribly hot on this day when we want to walk," complained the lantern.

"Yes, of course," answered the lamp, "we need the heat to grow the grain, trees, grass and flowers; if it were not for the sun it would be colder here than at the North Pole. God sends the sunshine for without it nothing could live. Look at the grass in this meadow! What makes it grow? Sunshine and rain."

"Rain, did you say?" asked the lantern. "Well, if you look up into the sky you will see what I see. A thunderstorm is coming. Where can we find shelter?"

The lamp and the lantern ran toward a nearby woods to find protection under the trees. The thunder rolled and long fiery strokes of lightning flashed through the sky.
"I am afraid," cried the lantern, "I do not like to hear thunder and see the lightning. Let us get out of this dark, wet woods."

"My dear lantern," answered the lamp, "why are you so afraid? The rain is lovely. The world is God's garden. He is sprinkling the earth as a man sprinkles his garden. Every time it rains, God washes the earth as a man washes his face."

"But, did you see that flash of lightning?" asked the lantern greatly frightened.

"Yes, indeed, I saw it," answered the lamp, "and it is beautiful. It is many times more beautiful than the fireworks on the Fourth of July. The lightning is God's fireworks, and when I see it I think of Him."

That day the lamp and the lantern returned home after dark. Both were tired from their day's walk.

"I do not like the darkness," said the lantern, "I am afraid of ghosts and goblins."

"There is no darkness," explained the lamp. "At the close of the day when the sun sets, God pulls down the shades, and it is time for all creatures, man and beast, to get rest and sleep. He lets dim lights shine in the sky, the moon and the stars. Look! See the stars overhead."

They entered their house and settled down for the night.

"Wherever I went today," said the lantern, "there was darkness; nothing but darkness, the whole world is dark."

To this the lamp replied, "Wherever I went it was light."

Why was every place dark for the lantern and light for the lamp? The lantern carried no light within and so everything was dark. The lamp carried a light within and that light made everything bright.

Boys and girls who have God in their hearts have the best light there is. If we carry Him in our hearts wherever we go, then every place will be light. Without this light of God every place will be dark.

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