I woke up one winter morning to a very cold house. The pilot light had gone out on my furnace. I opened up the front and looked inside. It was a long way to where the fire should be burning. There was no way a little match would even come close.
So I got out my torch and screwed it onto the canister of propane. I opened the nozzle and squeezed the trigger. Nothing. No amount of repetitions elicited a happier response. The propane canister was empty. I was not amused.
Who could I call early on a Sunday morning? No one. How long before I could go buy another canister of propane? Several hours plus a long drive. It was time to get creative. I asked myself what I had that was long and could hold a flame for a few moments.
I suddenly had a Eureka moment.
I ended up relighting my furnace with a stick of incense and soon my house was warm and smelled good!
During my meditation, wrapped up in a blanket while waiting for my house to warm up, it occurred to me that there have been times in my life when my inner pilot light went out and there was no one around to relight it. Furthermore, none of the normal ways and means were working. My existence was cold and lifeless.
Can you relate? Have there been periods in your life where your pilot light went out and you couldn’t seem to find a way to get it lit again?
The longer that pilot light is out, the colder you get. When nothing you try works, the anxiety can build until it pushes you over into a cold, black depression, like black ice that has you careening off the side of the road without a moment’s warning.
What if, instead of getting desperate, we got creative when our pilot lights go out? What if we tried the normal things, then, if they didn’t work, we simply stepped back and asked a different question? Like in my example, I asked myself who could help me, then asked myself where I could get a new canister of fuel. I wasn’t content with the answers I was getting so I asked a different question. What do I have that can hold a flame and is long enough to reach?
It’s easier to ask a different question if you know what you truly want. In my case, I wanted a warm house, not necessarily a working torch or a handyman.
So, if your pilot light has gone out, ask yourself what you truly want. Now, invite a creative answer to show up and give it a try. You might well end up with the equivalent of a warm, fragrant home with very little effort on your part.