Be not as the horse, or as the mule: which have no understanding; whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle. . . Psalm 32:9
A few nights ago the lights went out suddenly. We found ourselves stepping more slowly through the familiar territory of our apartment, made potentially challenging by the complete dark. But after the first few nervous steps and momentary disorientation, our inner light took over. The light of memory, of knowing where things were, of feeling sure that we knew our way around these familiar rooms. Feeling sure that we knew what would be waiting for us, no matter which way we turned.
It offered a glimpse of another kind of journey. The journey we will all take, on some day now hidden from us. We hurry so much all the time as if it really gets us anywhere any faster. As if it were really important that we get to our destination sooner rather than later. But on that night when the lights went out without warning, as we moved carefully so as not to run into walls and furniture unexpectedly, we were reminded through the minor hardship of a few minutes of darkness, that there is pleasure in navigating a little more slowly. Through darkness, and through life. It reminded us of forgotten knowledge. That there are things we sometimes forget we know well. That are a part of our daily being.
We paused, accepting interruptions to what had seemed so pressingly urgent moments ago and yet got set aside instantly, simply because power was taken away.Why does it take that kind of arbitrary intervention, the bit and bridle held by others, to slow us down?
Why are we so casual about tending our inner light? The light that comes from faith. From education. From love. From trust.
If we could only trust more readily all that we know, all that we have experienced, all that we believe, all that we have received from those around us and from those who have gone before us. If we could trust more fully, surely it will ease our passage into new worlds. And light our way through the darkest of nights.