I have in my possession a number of candles. Nice candles. Candles that still look good after having been saved for several years. Occasionally I light one, but mostly I just save my candles.
Sometimes I count my candles. Last time I counted there were thirty-one. That is quite a lot of candles to sit in one drawer. But I like to have candles. Especially nice candles.
Once when I was a boy I was given a candle. A friend of mine was also given a candle the same day. He wanted to light his right away. I didn't. I saved mine. I'm glad I saved mine, because by the end of the day his didn't look new anymore. Mine looked good for a long time.
Some people might say that my candles are useless. That they aren't doing any good in this world. But I know something of the science of candles. That whenever a candle gives light, it is giving up its beauty, and its completeness, and its fullness.
And eventually its very existence. Why, for a candle to be useful in this world, it needs to give up itself!
Someday perhaps I shall light my candles. Someday when I get tired of having so many candles in my drawer. I suppose that then I will enjoy the light of my candles. Maybe sometime, but not just now.
I suppose that I am a lot like my candles. I find it most comfortable to just sit around and take care of myself and my own interests. If I spend my time doing things for others, I have that much less time for myself. If I spend my energies for another's benefit, I have that much less energy for myself. If I live for the good of others, I always end up giving up some of myself.
But when I live for others, and give to others, I find that others receive a benefit. And ultimately I do too. Really, there is a sense of satisfaction that comes with knowing that I have been a blessing to another. Maybe I should find something to do for someone else, even if I don't feel like it just now.
You know, I believe will. I'll do something right now to please someone I know well. And after that, maybe I'll light a candle.
- Daniel Housser