“I half closed my eyes and imagined this was the spot where everything I’d ever lost since my childhood had washed up, and I was now standing here in front of it, and if I waited long enough, a tiny figure would appear on the horizon across the field and gradually get larger until I’d see it was Tommy, and he’d wave, and maybe even call.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go
It’s a poignant passage, because many of us stumble through life like that, with what Tennyson called “The quiet sense of something lost.” We travel on a journey without a map, homesick for a place we’ve never known, looking for something sure.
When the psalmist wrote, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” (Ps 119:18), he was asking God for precisely that. A paraphrase reads, ” Not for a minute will I take my eyes off your road. … I’m a stranger in these parts; give me clear directions.”
The idea is that God’s word is an instruction manual for life and a road map for the journey of living.
But, of course, we feel like we need more. Not just a map, but a guide. I remember an Alicia Keys lyric:
“Sometimes I feel like I don’t belong anywhere,
& it’s gonna take so long for me to get to somewhere,
Sometimes I feel so heavy hearted,
but I can’t explain cuz I’m so guarded.
But that’s a lonely road to travel, and a heavy load to bear.
And it’s a long, long way to heaven but I gotta get there
Can you send an angel?
Can you send me an angel…to guide me.”
― Alicia Keys
There’s an old hymn that came to mind this morning. It goes one better than Alicia. And it’s all I need
‘God’s with me when I’m waking,
His light is never dim;
He knows the way I’m taking,
And I shall walk with Him!’