I have this thing where I hate not being able to see my feet.
I first realized this about myself years ago when Randy and I were waiting for at table at a crowded restaurant. The lighting in the place was very low, and the flooring was black. When our name was finally called, we had to pick our way through the other waiting people without stumbling or bumping into anyone.
I’m already slightly clumsy by nature, so it was disconcerting for me to walk to our seats without knowing exactly where my feet were landing. I couldn’t wait to reach my chair so I could sit down and stop feeling discombobulated and disoriented.
Ever since then, I’ve been vigilant about making sure my path is well lit. It’s become sort of a joke at my house—when we go upstairs in the evening after watching TV in our basement family room, everyone knows not to turn the light off in the stairwell until Mom’s gotten past the landing.
“I can’t see my feet, I can’t see my feet,” they tease affectionately.
But they keep the light on, because they know I need it.
This might be one of those cases where the spiritual analogy is so obvious I feel a bit sheepish even mentioning it. For some reason, though, it took me a long time to make the connection between a Bible verse I learned as a kid and this thing with my feet.
“Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
The world is a dark place these days, there’s no doubt about that. But evil isn’t the only force that dims our vision. Obstacles like uncertainty, confusion and fear—about parenting, work, relationships, family issues, politics, our culture, the future, finances, you name it—also can play a role.
When the way ahead is unclear, I don’t know where my feet will fall as I move forward. It’s disconcerting, to say the least.
But I don’t need to see all the way to the finish line. Quite often, I don’t need to see beyond the very next thing—the next thought, the next response, the next decision, the next step. And God’s words provide all the light I need for that.
• “Do everything without grumbling or arguing.” (Phil. 2:14)
• “Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you.” (Psalm 55:22)
• “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
• “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.” (Luke 6:27)
• “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Cor. 13:4-5)
• “Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” (James 1:19)
• “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” (Phil. 2:3)
• “Give thanks in all circumstances.” (1 Thess. 5:18)
Nobody said the next step would be easy. But whether it’s on the path of life or at a dimly lit restaurant, it’s usually not as complicated as I’d like to think.