…so that it will give more light and less smoke. -Henry Van Dyke

“Trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke” is a line in a sermon by Henry  Van Dyke. I was struck by those words this past December and challenged by them as well. It is a simple thing, is it not, to trim the wick of your lamp, or candle. It only requires a sharp pair of scissors and a few seconds. Yet, I admit that I rarely ever do it (with candles, I don’t have a kerosene lamp or anything like that). As a result, I get a sometimes out-of-control flame that burns wildly while giving off more smoke than I would like. It also leaves a nice black residue around the glass, jar, or hurricane.

My hope is that by trimming my metaphorical lamp(s) my life, my work, my interaction with others will give more light…and a lot less smoke. After all, doesn’t Christ call us to be a beacon on light…and not a plume of smoke? This is certainly a work in progress.

Andy Kort



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