So she said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not press me to leave you, to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!” When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her. - Ruth 1:15-18
Ruth inspired me to step back from my life and think about my different friendships and how they influence me, some in spiritual ways and some in worldly ways. I started to weigh the importance of both, and it all came down to Faith. I personally needed to weigh what to keep close to my heart and what I needed in my life to grow that Faith. For example, I have a particular friend whose Faith is deeper than I think she is even aware of because it seems to just come naturally! Then I have a friend whose faith was there at one time, but seems to have lost the path in search of happiness through worldly treasures. The light had been extinguished in this pursuit. The first is my Naomi. She unknowingly challenges me almost daily to stay on the right path because I want to be closer to God and my church family. She is also a reminder that worldly possessions do not bring happiness. If you follow that path, you are not following God's path. The promise of God’s covenant with us is salvation, but it came at a price, which is what Easter is all about. I asked for a verse concerning death because I recently received a gift from my deceased sister’s husband. It was my Mom's Bible. He said I should be the one to have it. I opened the box to find many of mom’s little snippets of personal reflections. The first I came to was:
"Death is not extinguishing the light.
It is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come."
There are so many ways to parallel this quote with Ruth following Naomi to pursue her Faith family and the gift of Christ for the promise of a new dawn. We sometimes have to put life into perspective of what is really important. Sometimes we have to let go of negative influences or try to be a better example to others in order to realize the new dawn.