I read a wonderful passage this weekend in Alan Jacobs’ Wayfaring: Essays Pleasant and Unpleasant.
“Last Christmas Day my pastor, Martin Johnson, spoke of his youthful habit of walking in the forests of British Columbia at night, guided only by moonlight. It was remarkable how far he could see by that meager illumination, how delicately beautiful the landscape was. The only problem was that he couldn’t see where to put his foot for his next step, and as a result he took plenty of tumbles. The light of Christ, said Martin–the light that is Christ–is just the opposite: it illuminates with perfect clarity your next step, but blots out the surrounding territory. Christ is the Word of God, and the psalmist tells us that the word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path: it shows us where to place one trembling foot, but it does not make us authoritative cartographers of the whole territory.”
So often Christ provides a certain type of illumination. Not the type we might ask for (we want the flashlight we can turn on and off?) but one that still lets us walk. This certainly means something for vocation. Christ doesn’t call us to be cartographers, to know know the full lay of the land and plan our course across it. Christ tends to call us to take one faithful step after another. Personally, it is comforting to think that Christ promises to illumine our path, just not always in the way we want him to.