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I parked the car behind our truck at the foot of our driveway and turned the car wheels uphill in case the parking brake gave way. Landscapers were taking the other half of the oak tree down the next morning, blocking the driveway for a day or two, and we needed to be able to get out. After tucking my Monday night study book and Bible into my shoulder bag, I grabbed the Eveready 6-volt battery lantern, shut the car door, and locked it with my key fob. Chirp.

For a moment, I stood in darkness, getting my bearings. The slopes above and below hid our house and neighbors’, and the moon had yet to rise. I pressed the button to switch on the lantern. A thin beam of light illuminated one small piece of gravel. I had failed to check the battery, to see if it still held a charge—clearly not.

I felt like I was living the parable in Matthew 25 about the foolish and wise women.

The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. Matthew 25:3-4

A wise woman would have gotten back in the car, driven up the driveway, gotten a working lantern then driven back down, parked, and walked up.

I am not a wise woman.

Because I am stubborn.

Because I judge myself: “You were foolish, live with the consequences.”

Because I rather like adventures, in this case, the challenge of walking up the driveway in the dark. I had walked it countless times in daylight. How hard could it be?

I took one step then another. My trail shoes crunched on gravel, a reassuring sound since it meant I was still on the right path. Then leaves rustled in the breeze, or maybe what rustled were critters in the dark woods beyond the driveway. Large critters. Not such a reassuring sound.

At that moment, I decided to pray.

HouseLightsonHillOct2018After the first bend, I looked up and saw our house on the hill, the lights shining like a beacon. Keith had left the main floor lights on and turned on the lights outside the garage.

I chuckled. Now I’m living a metaphor, I said to myself.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14

I switched off the lantern and followed the light, walking with confidence to the top of the hill.


P.S. The oak is down, the wood ready to split and stack. Our vehicles are back in the garage, and we purchased a new lantern with fresh battery this weekend. See Twitter @CaroleADuff for pictures of the lantern and tree stump. How impressive is God’s creation!