Hold It Up to the Light

Our front yard contains the stump of a tree that was removed before we moved in and another tree that is slowly dying. So, Chris and I have begun tree shopping. We have been to several nurseries and been somewhat dismayed at the prices of trees that are, well, Apple_Tree_2_Resized_largerather puny. On top of that, they don’t grow very fast. So, once we plant the tree that we choose, we are going to have to be patient for years while it grows into something a little less underwhelming.

This tree-shopping adventure reminds me of an exercise in an adult ed class at church years ago. Each participant took a turn being blindfolded and led through an obstacle course under the guidance of the leader. She would tell us what to do next after each step. I was perfectly fine with being instructed to turn left or right or to step forward or back but was quite discomfited when told to wait. I was very uncomfortable with my lack of control of the situation – there I was, standing in a space full of obstacles completely at the mercy of another, with my powerlessness on display for all to see.

As you might have surmised, this exercise was about faith – trusting another to take care of us when we couldn’t care for ourselves – trusting that others love us enough to keep us safe from harm. As you might also have gathered, I have control issues. It is one of the reasons that this faith business – this believing and trusting in God – is such a challenge. We often don’t get to see what comes next, and I, for one, don’t like that very much. Life is filled with those moments of choice – those crossroads, large and small – when we must choose a direction with, as I am wont to say, incomplete information. We don’t know for certain if this is the direction that God wishes for us to take, or will keep us on the “Red Road,” the name that Native American traditions use to describe our spiritual path. So, what do we do? How do we decide?

My favorite singer-songwriter, David Wilcox, has an idea. He says to “Hold it up to the Light.” He sings:

It’s the choice of a lifetime – I’m almost sure
I will not live my life in between anymore
If I can’t be certain of all that’s in store
This far it feels so right
I will hold it up – hold it up to the light,
Hold it up to the light, hold it up to the light

The search for my future has brought me here
This is more than I’d hoped for, but sometimes I fear
That the choice I was made for will someday appear
And I’ll be too late for that flight
So hold it up – hold it up to the light,
Hold it up to the light, hold it up to the light

It’s too late – to be stopped at the crossroads
Each life here – a possible way
But wait – and they all will be lost roads
Each road’s getting shorter the longer I stay

Now as soon as I’m moving – my choice is good
This way comes through right where I prayed that it would
If I keep my eyes open and look where I should
Somehow all of the signs are in sight
If I hold it up to the light

I said God, will you bless this decision?
I’m scared, Is my life at stake?
But I see if you gave me a vision
Would I never have reason to use my faith?

I was dead with deciding – afraid to choose
I was mourning the loss of the choices I’d lose
But there’s no choice at all if I don’t make my move
And trust that the timing is right
Yes and hold it up hold it up to the light
Hold it up to the light, hold it up to the light

Click here to listen. 



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