Why are cities built in the locations they are built? Well, the reasons vary. When the railroads were being built out West, the track layers put a town every ten miles. Every hundred miles was a division point and those towns were built on the strength of the importance of the railroad division offices. Sometimes these towns were built on hills, sometimes in valleys, but all were built on a hundred mile marker of the railroad.
Some of these towns became population centers, some were state capitols, others became industrial centers, and still others became tourist centers. But all were important. Jesus said, “A city built on a hill cannot be hid.” (Matthew 5:14, NRSV) What Jesus was saying is, a town of repute meant to be noticed in that day was to be built on a hill. If built in such a location it couldn’t be hidden.
Towns are not built to be hidden. Lives are given to us not to be hidden. Talents like lives are not to be hidden. Towns, lives and talents are not put into reality to be covered up. If used properly, talents can be encouragement, can create leaders, and be builders in life. What if every town had been built to be hidden? Think what the world would have missed.
No, cities, towns and lives are given to us to be leaders of some type. Think of the leaders in our lives. Some of us remember one school teacher who made a difference. Others remember someone’s talent in life having influenced them to be better. Others remember the home town as being an inspiration to be the best we can be. And others remember one person who was a light to them and a reminder to be sure to be as good you can be with what has been given to you. Lights can never be truly hidden.
It is something to think about.
Rev. Glenn Lord, retired UMC pastor