I have discussed this before, but it seems that the only time you can walk in complete darkness is when you go camping. In my younger years, I used to go camping in the Upper-Penninsula of Michigan. One year, I was on the beach of Lake Superior and simply staring into the night sky. It was so amazing. There were no city lights to block the light of the stars and I got so dizzy looking at it, that I had to lie down on the beach.
Our world is so full of artificial light — street lights, traffic lights, headlights, floodlights, neon lights, flashlights, spotlights, on and on it goes. Throughout history, until the twentieth century, that is, we always needed lamps of some kind. I read an article and it explained that in ancient times they would fasten a tiny clay lamp to the thong of a sandal. How they did that I don’t know, but I was fascinated by the idea. The difficulty with this method of lighting your path, though, was that the small pool of light it cast was only sufficient for a single step. They would lake a step and found enough light for the next step. So when you read, “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and light on my path” (Psalm 119:105), it makes more sense.
Now recently, it dawned on me that this year I will only be two years shy of 60, and when I was in high school, I pictured this age as being old. I don’t think so anymore, but back then I sure had a distorted view. But you know, I don’t really like the word, “old.” I much prefer senior citizen, golden-ager, keen-ager, mature (I really like that one), anything but old.
There are some who think that if someone is old, they are useless. It wasn’t always that way. There was a time when old was a term of respect because the old were presumed to have learned many things which they could share to make the pathway of life a little clearer for those who followed it. No one believed that they had learned all they could learn.
For me, the perfect example of this was an instructor I had a few years ago, whenI went back to school to earn my CCNA. Bill Reichert was simply amazing. During the first meeting of every class, he would explain his admiration for the students. In his mind, they had worked all day and then, sacrificed their evenings and time with their families to learn something new. Because of this, he would always be available anytime we needed his help.
He was a fabulous instructor who had retired three times of General Motors (because they kept asking him to return) and went into teaching. Many times I sat with him to learn as much as I could. And during our times together, he shared how he had been in the Army and served with the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam. After the military, he returned to Florida (where he had been raised) and became a Deputy Sheriff. After 25 years he retired and began working for General Motors. At the time I had met him, he was in his late 70’s and was truly an expert in computer networking. I would never have considered him old!
Mr. Reichert showed me that old age is actually a gift. It is also a privilege, and as such, there is a responsibility. I know, for myself, I still have much to learn. I am sure of that, and by the grace of my precious Father, I want to learn it. I want freely quote the Psalmist, “I have thought much about the course of my life and always turned back to your instruction.” And, “I have found more joy along the path of your instruction than in any kind of wealth” (Psalm 119:59, 14).
For me, the Word of God has been a lamp to guide every step I take. And these Morning Messages are simply reflections — reflections of the True Light (although I freely confess that at times the reflections may be distorted by my humanity). But, my prayer for you, is that you can make the same confession as you represent our Lord to your families, co-workers, and children (if you have any).
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you—a to the list: Mail List)
I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.