While I was exploring a lighthouse off the coast of Road Island, I ran into a part of the house that I was sure was not actually on the tour. I realize now the irony of getting lost in a light house. It is literally a building specifically designed to prevent disorientation. I am not really sure how I got lost or if it was indeed an accident or actually a purposeful folly. I do have a keen ability to be entirely captivated by a marvelous detail that I am oblivious to things going on (or in this case moving on) around me. However, I also have a prideful side that sometimes provides me a false confidence in my abilities to navigate areas I have never visited before. It would not have been unlike me to assume that I would be able to catch up with the tour later. This character flaw combined with a subconscious desire to fulfill my more curious sensibilities sometimes gets me into some glorious messes. And truth be told, I wouldn’t change that for the world. I love getting lost. If I hadn’t gotten lost I wouldn’t have stumbled upon the lighthouse storage room. This hodgepodge collection of trinkets from the Lighthouse’s past provided me a clearer picture of its story than any tour could have done. I enjoyed walking through the “attic” imagining the people who used these items, how these random items came to reside in this lighthouse and how long they had been there. It was truly magical and enchanting. I eventually found my way back to the tour and my secret detour was never discovered. 🙂
There is something so uniquely wholesome about lighthouses. Perhaps their ability to secure ones instant trust shouldn’t be all that surprising. Their very reason for existence is to guide the lost home. They provide a beacon of hope and light to the weary traveler while nobly identifying the dangers before them. Their constant drumming of light provides a rhythmic path to safety that calms and assures the soul.
I have not done much/any sailing on my own. I would be the first to tell you I wouldn’t have the first clue how to circumnavigate the seas. I can only imagine the powerful all consuming wave of relief one would feel when they first catch glimpse of the shore through that beacon of light. Its dancing reflection across the water would be a blanket of security to those searching for asylum from the unforgiving seas.
When I come across a light house in my travels I am captivated by their beauty. This one taken at Point Judith in Rhode Island was particularly captivating. With today’s new innovations these beautiful structures are more historical artifacts than tools of navigation; but I love them because they represent a bygone era where man relied on his fellow human being rather than a machine for assistance. In a storm sailors depended on the honor of the men who ran these houses to guide them through the rough and merciless waters. When I see a lighthouse I often wonder about the men who lived and worked in them. I also think about their lonely life; living in a tower above the world. I am sure they saw all, but engaging in so little. Who were these men? What stories did they have?
While Lighthouses invoke my romantic sensibilities about the days of old and delight my imagination they also provide such great parallels to the God I serve. When I see a lighthouse I am reminded how God is that steady unwavering beacon of true light in my own life. He is always guiding our path and leading us home. He is unwavering, unchanging and unyielding. He is the one and true constant source of security, love and peace. He alone can help us face the trials and storms of this world.
Psalms 119: Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.