Sunday, October 25, 2015

...Paths We Did Not Know

“He leads us by paths we did not know.”  Hiram O. Wiley (1831-1873) wrote this poem, later turned into a hymn.  It is seldom sung these days.  What a shame!  It is meaningful verse.  I think I will make it part of my new discipline to memorize a poem or two.

He leads us on by paths we did not know.  
Upward He leads us, tho’ our steps be slow;
Tho’ oft we faint and falter on the way,
Tho’ storms and darkness oft obscure the day,
Yet, when the clouds are gone,
We know He leads us on.

He leads us on tho’ all the’ un-quiet years;
Past all our dream-land hopes, and doubts and fears
He guides our steps; thro’ all the tangled maze
Of losses, sorrow, and o’er-clouded days
We know His will is done,
And still He leads us on.

We all wish that we could know the future.  How I would like to know what is ahead for me, for my children, and my grandchildren.  Even though we may say it doesn’t matter—we inwardly really want to know.

This “wanting to know” is a part of the anxiety which we experience in every new stage of life, every threshold of a new job, decision, or other life adventure. If we could know that we are going to make it, if we had some guarantee that our tomorrow will be okay, then we would be less anxious.

We inwardly want to know, but life is not like that.  We bring to the future all that has happened to us before.  All the baggage of the past, all the yearnings of the present go with us. All our experience goes with us too, as we move forward into our tomorrows.   And, I believe, unapologetically, that there is Another who "leads us on by paths we did not know".  The thought of tomorrow may bring us anxiety, but in the end, my experience tells me that through whatever comes, 
Life is an adventure....following paths we did not know...
Another still leads us on.

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