Every year, on the first weekend of August, my wife's family has two reunions. The first is held on the Saturday before the first Sunday in August. The Fridley family reunion is held on the old Fridley homestead near an area known as Crows in Western Virginia not far from Covington. It was begun as a birthday party for Hezekiah Fridley, my wife's grandfather, and has continued as an opportunity for the family to get together every year. The other reunion takes place the first Sunday in August, not far from the family farm, at a mountain location called Big Ridge. It is the location of a number of families' origins in the area, many of whom are interelated.

Last year, due to my cancer, we were unable to attend. This year Becky and I went and took my daughter, Kara, my daughter-in-law, Jennifer, and the twins, Patrick and Grace. The weekend was magical for the twins as they were old enough to appreciate things this year as opposed to the time they last went as infants. On the way out they marvelled at the mountains that loomed before them as they had never seen such sights before. They fell in love with Becky's family and thoroughly enjoyed their time at Becky's sister's home as well as the day at the family farm. However, it was the next day that the wonder of fresh eyes made its mark.

Sunday morning we headed to Big Ridge and the Antioch Christian Church for the morning worship to be followed by dinner on the grounds. Such is the nature of the reunion on Big Ridge. Its focal point is a church. On the way we traveled a mountain road which was well shaded. Patrick said, "Pawpaw, the trees are blocking out the light." Quite an observation for a three year old. We had fun going from shade, which we said in a low voice, to light, which we said in a high voice. While we were doing that I began thinking about the Light. What are the trees that block the Light from reaching us as we make our journey through life?

Can family, health, job or recreational pursuits block the Light of Christ from shining brightly in our lives? Has a family outing ever kept us from doing what God has called us to do in Christ? Has a health issue ever clouded our thinking and made us bitter toward God and His purpose? Has our job ever interfered with what we know is right to do or even served as a catalyst for us to do wrong? Have our recreational pursuits ever drawn us away from the kingdom or demanded our income to the point of withholding our blessings from the kingdom? Are the trees of our lives blocking out the Light of the Lord Jesus Christ?

"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness and truth), proving what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them." Ephesians 5:8-11 Whatever blocks out the Light in our lives destroys the life we have been called to live. We once were of the darkness, of sin, of Satan. Now we are of God, of the Christ, of the Spirit. We are the "light of the Lord." Let's make sure we avoid the trees that would block the Light. It IS our call. Don't block the Light.