Solar Energy vs. Fossil Fuels
by Pastor George Van Alstine

I’ve just had some stimulating conversations about the feasibility of switching to solar energy. The cost of installation with the current technology makes it difficult for most homeowners to consider this right now, but government rebates and other incentives may tip the scales in favor of making the change for some families. There seems to be consensus agreement that, in time, solar energy will become our society’s major source of light and power. It just makes sense — why burn fossil fuels, oil, gas or coal, to produce energy, when the sun is sending plenty of power down to us more than twelve hours a day?

Here’s a very instructive spiritual analogy. Every human being needs a constant supply of emotional/psychic/motivational energy to keep going day by day. Living is upstream, against the current, and we need a source of power to keep moving forward. Where do we find that power? For many people, their main source is from spiritual “fossil fuels”: the traditions of their culture or religion, demanding family expectations, past hurts to be addressed and scores to be settled, unfulfilled dreams and goals. These “fossil fuels”must be burned to release the energy, and the burning process has some unpleasant side effects, such as heat damage to those around them and pollution of their spiritual atmosphere. What’s more, “fossil fuels” are being constantly used up, and a person totally dependent on them will have to work harder and harder to find a positive reason to live. A life energized in this way will finally end (as T.S. Eliot said in his poem “Hollow Men”), “not with a bang, but a whimper.” The machine will just sputter to a halt.

The Good News of our faith is that God has provided us with constant access to spiritual solar energy. The sunshine of his love pours down on us, and Jesus came to show us how to tap into that primal energy source. He has taught us to turn to our heavenly Father and say, in the words of Psalm 4, “Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!

People who have come to know him in this way are being weaned from their dependency on “fossil fuels” as they grow in their use of the solar energy provided by his presence.

Unlike physical solar energy, the spiritual kind is turned on 24/7. The realization of this inspired the author of Psalm 4 to end his poem with the affirmation

“I will both lie down and sleep in peace;
for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.”

Free spiritual solar power day and night; that’s an offer I can’t refuse.