Your word is a lantern unto my feet, and a light upon my path.
I have sworn and am determined to keep your righteous judgments.
I am deeply troubled; preserve my life, O Lord, according to your word.
Accept, O Lord, the willing tribute of my lips, and teach me your judgments.
My life is always in my hand, yet I do not forget your law.
The wicked have set a trap for me, but I have not strayed from your commandments.
Your decrees are my inheritance for ever; truly, they are the joy of my heart.
I have applied my heart to fulfill your statutes for ever and to the end.
Psalm 119, BCP
When the seminary library was doubled in size by a new addition, many of the existing sidewalks were removed or rerouted to connect the new indoor spaces to the outer campus. Most of the sidewalk lights were taken out during construction, so new lighting was needed for old and new walkways. Unfortunately, the tall bright lights that were originally proposed couldn’t be installed – a town light ordinance banned bright lights in order to preserve its historic charm, even at the expense of safety. The seminary had no choice but to comply. Still wanting enough lighting to keep the paths illuminated, designers went in a new direction: footlights. Two feet off the ground, with caps to keep the light directed downward, the new fixtures illuminated the paths without adding light to the surrounding airspace. The town was happy, and everyone could see where to direct their feet even in the darkest of nights.
I think of those paths when I read this psalm. Scripture doesn’t turn the darkness into daylight – my own limitations keep me blind to much of reality. But scripture offers enough illumination for me to keep my feet on the right path. I may not be able to see where the path is going to take me, but I trust that it leads to God, making my life a holy walk.