Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Come and see…

Often we want to be able to see into the future. We say, “How will next year be for me? Where will I be five or ten years from now?” There are no answers to these questions. Mostly we have just enough light to see the next step: what we have to do in the coming hour or the following day. The art of living is to enjoy what we can see and not complain about what remains in the dark. When we are able to take the next step with the trust that we will have enough light for the step that follows, we can walk through life with joy and be surprised at how far we go. Let’s rejoice in the little light we carry and not ask for the great beam that would take all shadows away.

Henri Nouwen, from Bread for the Journey

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119.105)

I’m not entirely sure why I find this so moving. My whole life I’ve longed for a powerful headlight and a map and a compass, when all God provides – all he promised to provide – is an oil-lamp that casts enough light for the next step…

Somehow the next step is all we see, though. Our hearts are full enough the tears and glory of the present moment – or they should be – without trying to play chess openings with the future. But we forget that, and stay awake at night trying to work it out, consequence by consequence. God knows it doesn’t work…

God’s word “is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4.12) We so easily forget: it is this which is to light our way, If this is our guide, if we will be content with this light, then Christ, who is the living Word, full of grace and truth, will take us by the hand as he took Andrew, saying, “Come and see…”

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