Walk on, to yonder shining light

The Man … looking upon Evangelist very carefully; said, Whither must I fly? Then said Evangelist, pointing with his finger over a very wide Field, Do you see yonder Wicket-gate? The Man said, No. Then said the other, Do you see yonder shining light? He said, I think I do. Then said Evangelist, Keep that light in your eye, and go up directly thereto, so shalt though see the Gate; ~ John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress

Several days ago, I woke up before daylight. I looked at the clock, which told me there was about another hour before sunrise. Yet, I could hear birds singing. They could not see that it was morning, but they knew it was coming. So, they sang.

I was rather tired, so maybe that is why I was so struck by the faith of the singing birds.

Yesterday, I began reading John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress. The story begins with a man struggling under the burden of his sin. He is told to go to a certain gate, which he can not see. Rather, he must walk towards a light that shines from it. He takes on faith that the gate will actually exist.

For me, faith is so often a given. Like the blue sky and green grass, God has always been there. I’ve always known that there was a gate. Like the birds, I always have believed that morning is coming. But I haven’t always sang about it. Nor have I always walked towards the light. Like Christian, too often I take my eyes off the light and look instead for a way to be rid of my burdens — my worries, my fears, and sometimes even my hopes.

But we don’t have to see the gate to walk towards the light. We don’t have to know how everything is going to turn out in the end.

We can walk on. And we can sing.

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