Tuesday, September 24, 2013


"a light to my path"
 Psalm 119:105

I had a wonderful opportunity, this past weekend, to spend some quality time with my Awesome Girl.  Our church had their annual women's retreat, up in the mountains, and this year we were both able to go.

It was a treat, because for the past few years, my schedule has not allowed me to go.  This year, when I signed up, the organizer asked if my daughter wanted to come, too.  I hesitated, because I was pretty sure that paying for two of us wasn't in our budget, but the organizer said that people in the church had donated money for anyone who couldn't afford to go, so she could be scholarshipped.  Seemed like the kind of circumstance God arranges, so I said sure!

We enjoyed the drive together, with her playing the dual roles of navigator and deejay.  And then, for some reason, the woman who was supposed to share our cabin with us was not able to make it, so we had the place to ourselves.  It made for a very relaxed weekend, with the two of us able to either ignore or enjoy each other ~ whichever we were in the mood for! 

The retreat location was a few hours from home, in a mountain community that has been built for this purpose.  They do family camps in the summer, and retreats and conferences throughout the year.  There are activities, several dining halls, and diverse facilities for sleeping, from small cabins to large rooms that sleep a dozen or more. 

And there are a plethora of birds, frogs and butterflies to photograph, which we did in our free time on Saturday.

And there was also a beetle.

A big beetle. 

But after the sun went down, you really remembered that you were far from civilization.  It was a five-minute walk from the dining hall to our meeting room, and another five-minute walk from there to our cabin, and at night, those pathways were pretty dark.  The moon was good-sized both nights, but we really needed the flashlights we had brought.

Well, actually, I had brought a flashlight.  A strong, tough Maglite flashlight that will both shed light on your path, and enable you to threaten the bear that's coming towards you.  Or, you know, the beetle.

{I'm kidding.  Don't threaten bears with flashlights.  
Stay away from bears.}

 She had brought her iProduct, which actually has a flashlight app.  Amazing.  Is there anything those gizmos won't do?

But we noticed something interesting about those two flashlights.  They were both good.  Bright and powerful.  But mine was a much more focused light.  A smaller circle of light, if you will.  Hers was a larger circle, less concentrated.  Mine enabled us to see our feet, and a little farther down our path, and hers let us see the bushes on either side of us.  Both valuable, and helpful to us.

It made me think of today's highlight verse, in Psalm 119.  I've always loved the wording of this verse, because it's one of those verses that seems repetitive, until you really look at the wording.  "Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path."  You could gloss over that line, and just think it was two ways of saying the same thing, but it's not.  If you're traveling a tricky road, it's two different things to be able to see the path right in front of your feet ~ right where you're about to step ~ but also to be able to get an idea of your surroundings.  Not much, mind you.  I don't think that's what God wants for us.  He wants us to trust Him for most of what's going on around us.

But He does reveal enough for us.  He shows us what we need to know.  And He does that through His Word.  But we have to read it, and we have to ask His Spirit to open up our understanding.  And then we'll see what we need to see, and know what we need to know.

~ "love the Lord your God
      and walk always in His ways" ~
Deuteronomy 19:9

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