“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). If we were to take a backpacking adventure together from my home in Nashville to where I was born in Washington, D.C., how confident would you be that we could arrive at our destination? We know the general direction is northeast, and we know what the end goal looks like, but between here and there is quite a bit of uncertainty.
Our lives, post-college, take a similar tone. We know what has been promised to those who love God, and we know what the Second Coming will bring – unspeakable joy. However, once our well-defined, educational path is over and we are tasked with building our professional careers, there is quite a bit of a wonderful, painful, strengthening, and exhausting life between where we stand on the graduation stage and the fulfillment of time. The beauty I find in David’s choice of a lamp as a metaphor is this – a lamp is incapable of illuminating the entire path from one end to the other. When properly cared for and lit correctly, I can only illuminate the area around the feet of the individual who chooses to carry it. As we walk forward, only then am I able to illuminate more of the path. This takes the pressure off of our shoulders to have our entire lives pre-planned out.
I never would have been able to predict the places my career has taken me once I graduated from college. Across three jobs in three states and through responsibilities, hardships, insecurities, achievements, and joys, I have been shown that while I am, thankfully, not the captain of my own fate, my role is well-defined. Through pain and success, joy and uncertainty, my role is to keep my lamp lit at all costs. Who knows where any of our paths will lead us? What we do know is that we each have the lamp, and that gives us all we need to walk slowly, courageously, and adventurously forward into whatever lies ahead.