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by Bob Smiley and Jesse Florea

A Light on “The Light”

Today I became a radio star! WAKO radio just merged with 88.7, the Light. (I found out “the Light” referred to the fact that the station often played songs featuring lights humming in an office building.)

They had a contest to promote the merger, and I won!

Listeners had to write a paper on why we wanted to be on the Saturday-morning show called Things That Grow. It’s mostly a show about crops and when to plant them. But sometimes they’ll do wacky interviews with dairy farmers! I spent hours writing a paper about how my brand of humor would add . . . well . . . humor to the show. DJ Ted isn’t known for his sense of humor. I think he’s only laughed once on the air.

I still remember it: “That last song was ‘Sounds of a Dryer.’ This next song is . . . mmmhehemmm (long pause). I apologize for that uncontrollable burst of laughter. I just realized while dressing in the dark this morning that I put on brown socks and black pants. This next song is titled ‘A Cat’s Tail Swishing.’ ”

Ted needed some humor on his show, and I was just the DJ to bring it! I worked really hard on my paper. Turns out I didn’t have to. I was the only one who entered the contest. I couldn’t believe it. What kid wouldn’t want to get up at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday to talk to tens of people?

I couldn’t wait to change radio history. The alarm went off at 5:30, and for once I sprang out of bed. I made a mental note to stop sleeping on the top bunk . . . or to never spring out of bed like that. I iced my forehead and went to wake my dad. My dad, it turns out, is a heavy sleeper. Nothing I said woke him up. So I thought of something I still call “a great idea” even though my dad calls it “something I will be grounded for if it ever happens again.” In my defense, the hair dryer did get him awake! And his hair had never looked better.

On the way to the station, I could tell how proud my dad was. “Tell me again why you have to do this?” he bragged.

“I won a contest!” I said.

We pulled into the WAKO parking lot. Right away I knew it was a very professional studio. This wasn’t just any old trailer; it was a double-wide! I walked through the screen door and was greeted like a celebrity.

Flash. Boom. Bang. I tried to smile for all the cameras. But it turned out the secretary was just shining a flashlight on me.

“What do you want?” she said. “We don’t have money here . . . just cassette tapes.”

“I’m Bob,” I said. “I’m supposed to be on the air this morning.”

“That’s today?” she said. “Well, let’s get this over with.”

I could hear the excitement in her voice. She took me to the back room and had me sit in a professional DJ chair that looked a lot like an old lawn chair. I pulled the mic to my face and said, “TEST! TEST! IS THIS THING ON!?!”

I’d like to point out that I didn’t know Ted had his earphones turned up full blast so he could enjoy the song “Windmills on the High Plains.” I apologized, but he couldn’t understand me because of the loud ringing in his ears.

A few minutes later, at six o’clock, Ted flipped a switch and we were on the air. “Good morning, farmers,” Ted began. “We have a special guest with—”

“It’s me, Average Boy!” I jumped in. “Bringing you the tunes and the ’tudes of the town! That’s attitudes for those who don’t speak slang. Now give us a rang on the phone if you have a request! Here’s a big shout-out to Wendy. In fact, I wrote a poem for her . . .”

Ted tried to take over again, but the phone lines lit up! Actually, it was only one phone, but it rang. For the next 10 minutes, we took requests—but I ignored them and stayed on the air. We talked about plants. I gave a traffic report by looking out the window and saying, “All clear!”

Everything was going great until I said, “I know some of you may be going through a tough time. Let me remind you what Jesus said in John 8:12: ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’ So if you’re in a dark place, know that Jesus will light your way and carry you through.”

Then something strange happened. Ted got serious. Well, more serious than normal. “That’s it,” he said. “You can’t preach on here. You’ll have to leave.”

He put on a song and then marched me to the front door. I was devastated. However, right before I walked out, the secretary said, “Hey, thanks. I’m in a dark place right now. I’ve stopped letting Jesus be my Light. Thanks for the reminder.”

I stepped outside thinking I couldn’t have been happier. I was wrong! My dad greeted me with a big hug.

“I’ve never been prouder,” he said. “My son preaching the gospel!”

Dad was so excited that when we got home, he waited almost 10 minutes before taking a nap.

Super Average Advice

Imagine yourself in a dark cave. Stalagmites jut from the floor, threatening to trip you. Stunning stalactites hang from the ceiling. You’ve never been spelunking before, but you jump at the chance to search this underground wonder with your friend. Everything is going perfectly . . . until your flashlight goes out.

You’re suddenly surrounded by darkness. But up ahead you can see your friend’s light. You walk to the safety and protection of the light, enjoying the rest of your journey.

Jesus is called the Light of the World for a reason. He protects, guides, and helps us through life. When you commit to following Him, you become a “[son] of light” (John 12:36). People will be drawn to your light in this dark world. Maybe they’ll notice that you treat people nicely or don’t talk behind other people’s backs. Perhaps they’ll see that your happiness isn’t tied to getting good grades or being popular. (That’s a relief!) When people ask what makes you different, the Bible says to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

As a follower of Jesus, you’re His ambassador on earth (2 Corinthians 5:20). Through your words and actions, you represent Christ and help draw people closer to the Light.

In the book of Acts, you can read how the apostle Paul met Christ and gave his life to Him (9:1–31). Once Paul knew the truth, he dedicated himself to spreading the good news. He traveled the world telling people about God. In 1 Corinthians 9:19–23, Paul explained how he reached out to people with God’s love. Paul didn’t compromise his beliefs or God’s message, but he communicated with different people in different ways so some would come to know Christ.

When you tell your friends and classmates about your relationship with Jesus, follow Paul’s example. He knew exactly what and why he believed. And then he shared his message in a way that was meaningful to his audience. You can do the same.

God’s Guide

Read: Acts 1:8

1. Where does God want you to start telling others about Him—close to your home or in a foreign country?
2. Do you have to witness to others about God through your own power, or does God give you help?
3. List the names of people you want to tell about Jesus. Then start praying for the opportunity to share about God.

To purchase Devotions for Super Average Kids: 30 Adventures With God for Kids Who Like to Laugh, click here.

Excerpted from Devotions for Super Average Kids: 30 Adventures With God for Kids Who Like to Laugh; used by permission. Copyright © 2013 by Bob Smiley and Jesse Florea. Illustration © David Harrington.