The other night I was driving the road to church when I was blinded by a pair of headlights coming from a parked car on the hill beside that stretch of road.  I couldn’t see where I was going.  Everything was light around me, and it frightened me a little bit as I kept my hands on the wheel of my own car.

We live in a more rural area than I’ve been used to driving for most of my life.  There’s not a lot of street lights.  There aren’t a lot of lighted signs.  On most nights, you can clearly see every star in the sky while the ground is shrouded in darkness.  It’s hard to believe we’re anywhere close to a major city.

Sometimes this unnerves me, though.  I’m not one who is prone to walk around in the dark.  I’ve always lived in suburban areas where shadows are rare, even under the night sky.  And sometimes it bothers me that I can’t see well everything that is around me.

But the other night when I was blinded by all of that extra light, I realized that too much light can actually drive me off course.

When it’s completely dark and my headlights provide the only light by which I can see, it’s much easier for me to tell where I’m supposed to go.  And even though I might not be able to see beyond  the fairly short reach of my headlights, I can stay on the path.  If I keep driving, I’ll see the next stretch of road in time for the turn and I’ll arrive at my destination safely.  If bright light is coming from other directions, then it actually becomes harder to see where I’m going.

So it is with the true “lamp to my feet.”

There is a constant barrage of words, images, and noises in my life.  They may not seem harmless.  After all, I’ve always thought more light is beneficial.

But if because of those things I cannot make out the one Voice, the one Word, the one Light that I need, then I will not be able to move on from where I now stand.  I will be paralyzed or I will go off course.

And though all is darkness around me and that Light might not show me more than the next bend in the road, it is sufficient.

It will show me the Way home.