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  • Shawn Thornton

High and Low

Thursday - August 12th

Scripture to Read Today: Psalm 119:105-112


Your word is a lamp for my feet,

a light on my path.

Psalm 119:105

When I first learned to drive, the switch for the car's headlights to change from low to high beams was a silver cylinder-like button on the driver-side floor. To toggle back and forth between low and high headlight beams, you simply tapped this button down with your left foot. Today, most cars switch headlight beams with one of the stems protruding from the steering column.

Switching beam intensity makes a vast difference in what you can see ahead with a car's headlights. The low beam tends to give you light for the road right in front of you. But, they added little visibility for what was in the distance or the roadside ahead. You use the low beam when there is an oncoming car. You don't want to blind the other driver with the overpowering high headlight beam. But, you can see what you need to see in the immediate distance.

Some drivers don't want the hassle of switching back and forth between the two beams, but I have always found the high beam so helpful in dark, remote areas with long stretches of highway. While the low beam focuses on the road right ahead of you, the headlights' high beam illuminates much more of what lies ahead. As a result, you can see much farther down the road and the roadside on both sides of the highway (which helps if deer or other creatures are about to cross the road).

Each level of headlight beam serves the same function, to help you travel down the road. But, each type of beam illuminates something slightly different in your journey.

Similarly, God's Word, the Bible, helps us travel down the path or road of life. Psalm 119:105 says, "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path." When God's Word serves as a lamp for our feet, it functions similarly to the low beam on a car. The Scriptures illuminate what lies right in front of our feet - the very next step we are about to take. The Scriptures also illuminate what we need to see ahead more broadly (as the high beams do). We get a chance to see what might be a distraction or problem that hasn't even entered our pathway yet.

We need both the illumination of what the next step looks like and what might be lurking in the distant shadows. We need God's Word to be both the lamp for our next step and the light that exposes what lies ahead in the distance.

As we travel the road of life, we need both the low and high beams of Scripture!


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