LED vs. Incandescent – Efficiently shine and be seen by all? Or glow intimately and known by few?

Posted: December 29, 2011 in "While The Cats Away"
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My name is Paul Cilia,

I’ve been doing life with Ed Peterson for going on about 4 yrs.  Ed Peterson has been what I can only sum up to be one of my closest confidants and friend.  That being said he’s also wears many other hats in my life. He’s my pastor first and foremost, he’s a father when I need it (sometimes even when i don’t think I need it) and he’s a pillar of wisdom that is second to none when it comes to applying the Word to just about any situation.  To me, if you want useless information Google it.  If you want life application Ed-ify it.

Now in those 4 yrs, I’ve personally gone through a lot.  The difference in those 4 yrs vs. my other 27 yrs is that he’s walked with me.  Now I’ve been shunned, but with Ed I’ve been desired.  I’ve been disregarded but with him I have been esteemed.  I say all of this not to prop the man up on a pedestal or to polish him for a reader in years to come… but to simply be able to declare who and what exactly Ed Peterson in my life.  I am most grateful for him to be in his life and I am most humbled to write in this blog on his behalf.

As of this past holiday week I started taking into account all of the “new” colorful LED lights in all of the store displays and on all of my friends Christmas trees.  I’ve taken note of how brightly they display themselves with a total disregard to the light around them; each one can and WILL be seen regardless of where they are in the grand scheme of importance be it stuck on the bottom of the tree or hidden beneath the hedge line as they border a window.

LED lights are an awesome sight, they are regarded by the “experts” as the best and most efficient way to display light this yule tide season.  Another aspect of LED lights: no matter how close you get you can never observe the source of their light, it’s simply too blinding at any distance.  So in true form for the past few years I’ve been investing in this form of lighting with the intent on staying in tune with the times, and to best express my holiday cheer per the “experts” in a cost efficient manner and most importantly so that NO ONE can disregard them.

On that same token, this season I took note of some “old school” Incandescent Christmas tree lights and to go a step further some of the old C9 light bulbs (you know the big colored night-light sized bulbs) on some outdoor display I can’t remember.  My first reaction was I giggled at the big C9 bulbs knowing how old they must have been and I justified my judgement to how potentially “dangerous” they must be due to their age and overall expense to keep operating.  I allowed my flesh to go a step further to judge the newer but now considered old-fashioned basic Christmas tree lights with how inefficient they must be and how I hated how fragile they were, year after year of having to find that one bulb to get the strand working again.  I can’t recall how many times I’ve simply thrown out entirely good strands of lights out of being impatient to find that one broken bulb or to fix a simple fuse.

And then it happened…I started to observe the larger older bulbs for what they were and not what they weren’t, glowing like nothing else; giving off warmth to those around them almost to a fault.  I then noticed the Christmas tree lights, how small yet also warm they were but more profoundly how well they complimented one another and produced an intimate color that was indescribable when seen from a distance and provide a great compliment to whatever they surround.  Most importantly when observed up close the source of their fire could be seen in all its delicate beauty.  Today you can’t miss the light from the older bulbs either but it’s for a totally different reason;  I can only surmise it’s because they are content in being exactly what they are if that makes any sense at all.

A few days ago it dawned on me (which probably was God bringing me revelation) of how much of an LED light I’ve been in people’s life.  I shine BRIGHT, and in most cases according to the “experts” sometimes brutally efficient.  My light can and will be seen at the expense of all light around me, you will not dismiss me, you will see me.  My color is the most important color of all and my location regardless of actual position is and should be the central focus.  I shine so intentionally outwardly bright that you cannot and will not identify the fire that powers in me and quite frankly I like it that way.  I realize I prefer chaining up with other LED lights not so much as to compliment the other lights but as to simply garner more attention for myself.

As I’m coming to the final days of 2011, this revelation has made my heart a bit heavy.  I’ve prided myself on being so outwardly bright for so long that I can honestly say I’m unaware of what powers me.  I operate at such a low-cost (investment in myself and others) that I’ve lost touch with the warmth and last but not least, how can I glow and be viewed differently?

I consider Ed Peterson most like the C9 bulb, older but consistently warm to a fault, operating at a great cost to himself but glowing like none other.

All I can say as I’m sure glad there’s the old C9 bulbs still hanging around for those moments when those LED’s like me forget how to really burn and glow, and I’m glad those traditional lights still operate to remind me what it’s really all about.


  1. me and I Am says:

    As Ann Marie and i read your post one thing stood out above the rest, even though there was much we could have commented on. It was the part where you said “I can’t recall how many times I’ve simply thrown out entirely good strands of lights out of being impatient to find that one broken bulb or to fix a simple fuse.” The question came as to how many people are thrown out because no one would take the time to find one broken or wound heart that would cause them to act in a way that we don’t like. Let’s finish strong in 2011 and find the fuse that needs to be replaced, a hurt that needs words of love, a relationship that needs restoration, words that need forgiveness, and love intentionally given. Thank you Paul, your worrds stirred our hearts.

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