Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Lost Pilgrim’s Progress

The lighthouse at night is beautiful to see, but it is absolutely forbidding as a destination. In fact, it is never a destination. It is an odd place for a journey to end, since lighthouses mark those regions of the coast that are most dangerous for ships to come ashore.

However, there are those few who determine to journey towards it as a last desperate bid for land. After tortuous months in doldrums, cold nights of abandonment in an empty ocean with nary a bird to see,  blistering sunlight of the day and water everywhere but nothing to drink… now the glimpse of the bright lighthouse in the dark and the promise of land ahead is a vision for sore eyes.

For the land starved pilgrim the mere glimpse of a light house fills him with brimming hope, in vision and in his heart. It means there would be people to talk to. It means food, water and a future. So, for this desperate pilgrim the lighthouse becomes his destination. It is no more a lighthouse. It becomes the lighthouse, an unforgettable landmark in the journey of his life; a testimony to future generations; a witness of surviving odds; a beacon of resurrection and hope. But this desperate bid to move towards the lighthouse is a one way journey. It is fraught with all kinds of perilous and mortal dangers, of unpredictable rocks, of undercurrent eddies and of currents too strong for feeble hands. The movement is not simple but erratic and zigzag with uncooperative waves, powerful undercurrents and bewildered efforts.

This journey is never easy for the lost pilgrim. Any movement towards the future is swept backward by a groundswell of the black memories. The undercurrents of past failures and the guilt hijack the efforts sideways. Circumstantial events jut like sharp rocks in a swirling sea to break you at any moment. The eddies of injuries and insults tug you downward. How can this lone boat ever make it? Yet if hope is real, then he must move towards it even if death and destruction are imminent. At all costs, he throws his hopes feverishly on God almighty and paddles with enormous strength using his weakened arms. He knows he can’t take it anymore. He cannot survive another maddening day floundering in his lonely boat. So he sets his mind to the singular goal of reaching the lighthouse, with all the energy he can muster. “If I perish, I perish” (Esther 4: 16), lights his feverish mind, and the futility of efforts never faze him.. And so he labours to reach the only salvation now available to him. It’s the lighthouse. And it’s his only hope. It is never a destination for anyone else. But it is a destination for him. It’s the lighthouse.

A broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. 
Psalm 51: 17

But we have this treasure in jars of clay 
to show that this all surpassing power 
is from God and not from us.
II Corinthians 4: 7 


Madhumita Chakola said...

"... he throws his hopes feverishly on God almighty and paddles with enormous strength using his weakened arms...." This alone can save us....sheer trust in God our Savior. Pastor, loved this symbol of the lighthouse. The powerful and apt chosen words in the post bring home the message with great impact.

Noel Prabhuraj said...

Thanx Madhumita... God bless all of u, and may He always cover you under his wings, and protect u in faith ... and keep you during the days of trial -- Isa 43: 1-4