One of the books I’m currently reading is titled, Can God be Trusted?: Finding Faith in Troubled Times, by Fr. Thoms D. Williams. In a chapter talking about what we should not expect from God, Williams talks about the fact that we tend to want God to spell everything out for us in advance. We want to know exactly what it is we are singing on for, what it is exactly that God is asking for us.
Alas, it doesn’t usually work that way. As the author suggests, “God rarely tells us our futures.” Instead, God asks us to trust, to walk with him step by step. He gives the example of Abraham, whom God instructs, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” God doesn’t tell Abraham where he is going, he doesn’t tell him for how long he is going. Instead, God essentially says, “I’ll tell you what you need to know as we go along.”
Somehow, that was good enough for Abraham. And the question is: is it good enough for us? Are we willing to trust in God one step at a time?
In this vein, the book quotes a beautiful poem by John Henry Newman, which I read a long time ago and was happy to be reintroduced to. The poem is titled, Lead, Kindly Light, and the beginning stanza reads:
Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom, lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home; lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.
I wish I could consistently say to God (and mean), “I do not ask to see the distant scene.” But I know I don’t, so I pray to grow my trust and faith. I pray to be able to say and mean, “one step enough for me.”