Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia
Psalm 119:105 Your word is lamp to my feet; a light to my path
I’m surrounded by pictures of lighthouses. My study is full of lighthouse pictures, figurines, books,. I’ve been fascinated by them since I was a little kid. I probably saw my first lighthouses on a vacation trip with my parents to coastal Maine when I was about six years old. Whenever we’re near the ocean I keep my eyes peeled for these sentinels of the sea. I’ve climbed up a few: Hatteras, Cape May, NJ, Old Port Comfort at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Sheryl and I visited a dozen or more on an excursion to coastal New England many years ago.
I’ve often tried to analyze what the allure and romance is. There’s bit of an enigma about lighthouses. In one sense they represent exploration, adventure, the call of the high seas and distant lands. But they also stand for safety, security, a fixed reference point to aid navigation in often turbulent, uncertain seas.
I think there’s an analogy here to the laws, precepts and counsel of the Lord. They provide a guide to keep our lives off the perilous shoals and rocks of addiction, poverty, sorrow, broken relationships and dysfunction. But rather than being repressive or restraints on our liberty, they actually serve to preserve and enhance true freedom. There’s no dungeon or prison more harsh than the prison of the unrestrained self. As Jesus put it, the broad road always leads to destruction, the narrow road to life.
Discipline brings freedom. The concert pianist, the composer, the artist, the star NFL quarterback, the dedicated healthcare professional- all enjoy the freedom of using their gifts, skills, abilities and talents, not only to serve others but to make their own lives prosperous because they’ve chosen the life of discipline, self-control and restraint over the life of sloth, aimlessness or unbridled appetite.
I’m so grateful for the fixed reference point of Scripture as tool for for assessing the quality, direction, purpose and purity of my own life. Like Paul observed in II Timothy 3:16-17, the scriptures teach me about life, rebuke and confront my selfishness and buttheadedness, provide corrective measures for getting me back on track when I’ve gone off course and discipline me in righteousness-practical relationship skills. The enemy of our souls constantly tries to tell us the same lie that he told our first parents in the Garden- that a life without rules, boundaries, borders is the true life of joy, freedom and fulfillment. The reality is just the opposite- anarchy brings chaos, bondage, insanity and death.