We went to a 9 PM Christmas Eve service in Monterey. The parking lot was full, and the sanctuary was packed.

The service concluded with ushers passing down the aisles with lighted candles. They stood at each row and lighted the candle of the person sitting on the end, who passed the light sitting to the person next to him or her, and so on….

It was impressive as we sang Silent Night and held up a lighted candle. Our combined candles illuminated the dimmed room. It was a poignant reminder of how powerful the light of Christ is when passed on to others. It gives direction and light to all around.

After the service was over we went to our car. The traffic seemed to be moving toward a driveway on the backside of the church property. “The exit drive,” I told Bev.

A sawhorse sat across the left third of the driveway. It appeared that other cars had driven past it toward the exit. So I did the same, but the closer I got to the exit, the more apparent it became that the sawhorse was there for a purpose. The gate was locked.

When I looked in the rearview mirror I saw a column of cars who had followed me past the sawhorse. Each of us had to either turn around on the narrow drive or back out of the driveway. “Whoops,” I said to a lady walking by the driveway.

So on one night we experienced the effect of good and bad influence. One lit up a room and encouraged our hearts. The other went to a dead end and misdirected followers.

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