“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light upon my path.” Ps. 119:105
Dear Redeemer Family:
A lamp, in the dark, can be a very useful item. The same holds true for flashlights. One summer, I was working on staff at the local Boy Scout camp in California. One night, my friend Mike and I had to get something done after supper. And then, we were supposed to go to the other side of the camp to help with an Order of the Arrow ceremony. Well, we finished our first task, and headed to the ceremony. It was by then very dark. And remember that the Boy Scout motto is “Be Prepared,” neither of us had a flashlight. Fortunately, I have pretty good night vision. But Camp Pico Blanco is deep in the Los Padres National Forest. There isn’t any light in the distance from nearby towns nor anything else. There wasn’t even a moon that night. When it is nighttime, it gets very very dark.
But, undeterred, Mike and I took off across the camp to find the ceremony grounds. We were doing pretty well, when, as Mike describes it, I suddenly “disappeared.” I had walked off of a cliff and landed on my back on the muddy bank of the river. But that is okay. Because a second or two later, Mike landed on top of me. The deep mud is probably the reason that neither one of us broke any bones. Then we had to climb up the muddy bank, about 10 to 12 feet, to get up to the solid ground. We were wearing our dress uniforms. Although you couldn’t really tell that by all of the mud that we were caked in. We caught a lot of grief from the rest of the staff that night. A flashlight to enlighten our path would have been handy. After that, I always carried a flashlight with me at night.
Right now, we are again in summer. Yesterday was the longest day of the year. So, there is plenty of light (and heat, but I won’t go there right now). But there is still a lot of darkness in the world. One of the recurring themes throughout scripture is the comparison of light and darkness. Darkness is often equated with the world, and evil, and chaos. Think of it like walking across a Boy Scout camp at night without a flashlight. There are often surprises, even unpleasant surprises. These can often pop up in our lives. And sometimes, we literally walk right into them unawares. Then, there is light. If you remember Genesis 1, light is the first of Creation, “Let there be light.” It pushes the evil and chaos away. God’s light continues to be there and enlighten us. One form that God’s light takes is in the form of God’s Word. It is the most powerful thing in this world. God gives us God’s Word to enlighten our
minds and lives. It brings and strengthens our faith. It can lead us to wisdom in all that we say and do. And, as we carry it with us, it can indeed be “a lamp to my feet and a light upon my path.” And so, it may keep us from falling and finding ourselves covered in the world’s mud.