I heard this thought the other day and it caused me to stop and ponder its meaning, particularly in relation to how we spread the gospel.
Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining. ― Anne Lamott
It reminded me of the scripture in Matthew 5:14-16
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Elder Gordon B. Hinckley gave us this council in the April 1982 general conference.
The most persuasive gospel tract is the exemplary life of a faithful Latter-day Saint. . . If we as a people will walk with integrity, will be honest and moral in our actions, will put into our lives the simple and basic and wonderful principle of the Golden Rule, others will be led to inquire and learn. We shall become as a city set upon a hill whose light cannot be hid. (See Matt. 5:14) We shall witness an ever-growing fulfillment of the promise of Isaiah: “And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” Isa. 2:3
We are all familiar with Hymn #335 - Brightly Beams our Father’s Mercy.
Pay particular attention to verse 2.
1. Brightly beams our Father's mercyFrom his lighthouse evermore,But to us he gives the keepingOf the lights along the shore.
2. Dark the night of sin has settled;Loud the angry billows roar.Eager eyes are watching, longing,For the lights along the shore.
3. Trim your feeble lamp, my brother;Some poor sailor, tempest-tossed,Trying now to make the harbor,In the darkness may be lost.
(Chorus)Let the lower lights be burning;Send a gleam across the wave.Some poor fainting, struggling seamanYou may rescue, you may save.Text and music: Philip Paul Bliss, 1838-1876
While going "To the Rescue" and leaving the "ninety and nine" may be appropriate and needed at times, our daily responsibility as disciples of Christ is to be that lighthouse for those who are eagerly watching for the lights upon the shore to help guide them. We can be that light on the shore. Let our lives be examples that are worth emulating.