A Light on My Path
By Sean Slagle
"Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path" (Psalm 119:105).
I woke up late in the night, grabbed my glasses, and stumbled to the bedroom door on my way through the dining room to the restroom. I paused for a moment, letting my eyes adjust to the dim lights from the decoration in the far corner of the living room. There was only darkness. Evidently, the lights had been unplugged by someone needing that outlet.
Living in the country, I had no help from an outside lamppost or neighbor's porchlight shining through the creases in the curtains. There was only darkness.
I knew the path well enough to make my way around the dining room table and toward the bathroom door. Then I stopped. I looked for a shadow that might be the door, but there was only darkness.
I paused. There was no way I was going to walk straight into the edge of the door and bump my head or give myself a concussion. I reached out to grab the door, but there was nothing. I slowly moved my arms back and forth, expecting my palms or knuckles to bang against the wood, but there was only darkness.
I carefully inched forward, both hands leading the way to protect me from this unseen danger in front of me. There was only darkness. I didn't understand where the door had gone, and I even began to believe that I was in the wrong place. Finally, I moved to the side and felt the flatness of the closed door and realized I only needed to reach down for the knob. I opened the door, turned on the light, and completed my uneventful journey.
How different would my journey have been had I just a glimmer of light, something to show the dangers (real and perceived) before me? I spend time reaching and feeling for something that wasn't there. With a little light, I would have seen there was no harm in front of me. I would have recognized the closed door and my need to open that door. Even in a familiar place, the lack of light turned a normal journey into a phantasmagoric adventure.
How much so is that like our lives when we refuse to let God's word light our paths? In the dark we reach for things that aren't even there; we fear dangers that aren't even present; we're even unsure of where we are or which direction we should move. But with the light of God's word, we see the obstacles before us, we see the dangers and open paths; our direction is clear.
As God said in Isaiah, "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will durn darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them" (42:16).
Sean Slagle teaches high school English, has coached numerous sports, overseen drama production, and has served as an adjunct professor. He has been published in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and drama. He is the author of A Dirge for the Malice series with Floyd's Gap. He is currently working on two books for Northside Books & Media, as well as Episode 4 for A Dirge for the Malice.
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