Last night I had the delightful opportunity to attend a women’s meeting (fireside) with special guest speaker John Bytheway – a very funny, inspiring, gifted man who also happens to be a devout Mormon. If you’ve never heard “BTW” (By-The-Way), then you have really been missing out on something special. I’m eager to introduce you! John Bytheway excels in equal parts motivational speaker, comedian, storyteller, teacher, inspirational guru and religious leader.
He’s also a dead ringer for Barney Fife (my 40+ readers will know who that is).
John Bytheway is an author of multiple books, CDs and videos culled from his speaking engagements that share a thought provoking message guaranteed to make you think a lot, laugh a lot, maybe cry a little, and leave you feeling a whole lot better about life!
JBTW has been a very popular speaker with the youth of our church for many years, but his messages really resonate and appeal to every age and stage. Last night he was speaking to a room full of women, ages teen and up. The theme of his message was all about LIGHT.
He talked to us about the power of light. Have you ever been in complete, “pitch” darkness? I’ve been cave exploring on several occasions in national parks. At some point, deep in the cave, the park ranger always has everyone turn off their flashlights so we can “experience the darkness”. It’s so dark that you can’t even see your hand held right up in front of your face. You can practically “feel the darkness” it’s so thick. It’s so dark that if you were left alone, pretty soon you wouldn’t know which way was up or down, or have any way to find your way back out again.
And then, someone turns on a tiny light. What happens? All eyes go directly to that light. No matter how small the light is, the room is instantly changed and brightened.
Darkness doesn’t have the same power.
No one ever says excitedly, “OK guys! Let’s turn on all the lights in here and get it as bright as possible so I can demonstrate the power of this “small darkness!”
… um, nope. 🙂
We can seek light, and we can also learn how to shine light into our dark and troubled world.
Bytheway shared another very interesting observation.
Jesus used to love to give his best friends nicknames and titles. I never thought about that before, but he’s right! Jesus really did like to do that. He told Peter “You are The Rock!” He called John “the Beloved“, he called Nathaniel “the one without guile,” and so forth. All of these titles Jesus gave were actually based on the potential of his friends, and not necessarily what they had already attained yet. After all, Peter was named “The Rock” by Jesus before he denied the Christ not once, but three separate times in one night.
Jesus knew in the near future Peter would be very weak, and act shamefully. But, Jesus also knew Peter’s powerful potential to be The Rock.
Jesus also knows our potential. He has given each of us a super-power moniker too!
Ye are the light of the world. – Matt 5:14
That’s what he wants us to be. That’s what he knows that we can be. We are the light. And, Not just any old light. The Light of the world! That my friends is our very own, very powerful potential.
This last clip includes one of my favorite messages from last night about how we can choose to live up to our potential.
Don’t forget to face the sun and the S-O-N to cast away the darkness.
Which way are you facing? – MoSop
This post was featured on LDSLiving.com March 17, 2015