A lighthouse keeper who lived on a rocky stretch of coastline was given a monthly allowance of oil to keep his light going, showing sea-goers the way along the coastline. However, the village he lived in was full of friendly people and the lighthouse keeper had many guests: a woman asked for oil to warm up her house, a farmer asked for some to power his tractor and a mechanic asked for some to lubricate a wheel. The lighthouse keeper saw these all as legitimate reasons for giving away his oil and before long, he had ran out.
The lighthouse was no longer being lit and many ships hit against the rocks, were wrecked and many lives were lost. When the authorities came to investigate, the keeper was very repentant but to his excuses and pleading he was given this reply: 'You were given oil for a purpose: to keep the light going. Be wise; prioritise'.
There are quite a few Christian illustrations using lighthouses but this is one I've just recently heard for the first time. I think it gives us something very interesting to think about: what have we been given our lives for? Are we giving our lives to things which seem good to us but ultimately stop us from doing what we were given life for?
Deuteronomy 32:29 says 'Oh, that they were wise...that they would consider their latter end!' The Bible tells us that it is wise to know what your top purpose in life is and that the wise are those who figure out where their priorities should truly lie...