Well, here I am at home, a college graduate. Green and gold tassel swinging from the rear-view mirror in my Honda, honors cords and mortar board stowed in the chest at the foot of my bed, various important certificates stacked on a shelf in my closet. So much for college, eh? Easily closed and put away, like the anthologies of literature on my book shelves? But I didn’t put the literature away when I closed the anthologies. And that tassel now goes where I go, and maybe obstructs my view of the road sometimes. Never mind, I’m not over-eager for the road just now …
I tried on several different metaphors of my own, but Reuben Land, Leif Enger’s narrator for his novel Peace Like a River, says it pretty well:
Just like us, the Israelites hadn’t any idea where they’d end up! Just like us, they were travelling by faith! Indeed, it did impart a thrill, yet the trip thus far, in the frigid and torpid Plymouth, had reminded me what a hard time the chosen people actually had of it. Once travelling, it’s remarkable how quickly faith erodes. It starts to look like something else – ignorance, for example. Same thing happened to the Israelites. Sure it’s weak, but sometimes you’d rather just have a map.
And yet, foolish little one, the Lord is your Shepherd. It is not the task of a sheep to study maps. Be still.