Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
Have you ever been somewhere really dark, somewhere so dark that you can’t even see your hand in front of your face? Very few people have these days. A recent survey revealed that nine out of ten British school children have never seen the Milky Way because of the light pollution produced by our towns and cities. I’m lucky enough to spend time in one of the few places in the UK where it is truly dark. It’s so dark that it’s almost impossible to see more than a few feet ahead. If I go to a friend’s house in the evening, it is only because I know the way back to my house so well that I can get back at all. If I’d didn’t, there’d be no prospect of getting back at all. The narrow road between our houses is black, with no lines painted, and no street lights. It would be very easy to walk off in completely the wrong direction!
Our lives are like that in some respect. It can often feel that we have no idea the direction we should take. There’s that big decision we all have to take as we near the end of our childhood; what should I do for a living? Once that choice is made, there are other big decisions: should I get married? Where should I live? Should I change job? Should we have children? How many? Should I take early retirement? When you think about it, life is fraught with difficulties! I’ve often felt that it would be really useful if there was someone who would just tell me what decisions I should make. Life would be so much easier!
Today’s verse addresses some of these concerns that we all have. When we are fumbling around in the dark, trying to decide which direction we should head in, God’s word can be a beacon of light, illuminating the way ahead. Since the Bible is God’s word, we can find many of the answers we seek within it’s pages. We might not find specific advice of the kind “Simon, take the job you’re going to be offered on 11th July 2011,” but we can find guidance regarding how God wants us to live and the qualities he wants us to cultivate, as well as plenty of case studies of people before us who have sought to serve God. The Bible also helps us to see the ultimate purpose for our lives (for example, in Mark 12, Jesus says that the greatest commandment is to love God, and the second is to love our neighbours).
One of the purposes behind this website is to provide a forum in which Christians from around the world can study God’s word together. We’ll be publishing Daily Readings every day this week, so why not take a look each day, reflect on what the passages we select say to you, and leave your thoughts, comments and reflections in the comments?
Let’s strive together to use God’s word as a light to our paths!