This idea was reinforced for me one recent Sunday when, in a church service with talks themed on the blessings and eternal value of knowledge, one of the hymns sung was Lead, Kindly Light. With text composed by Anglican churchman (and future Roman Catholic Cardinal) John Henry Newman in 1833, the hymn relates the experience of one who once was determined to pursue his own goals in his own way, who "loved to choose and see my path," who "loved the garish day," and whose will was ruled by pride. Now, the hymnist prays God to "Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see the distant scene; one step enough for me." Watch and listen to the beautiful video below, sung by Aled Jones, with text just below that (including a later additional verse by Edward H. Bickersteth):
Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom,I do believe this is the answer I've been seeking: simply to let God lead; follow His light first, rather than my own; and happiness and fulfillment will be mine at last, however and whenever God wills that to happen. Father Knows Best!
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor prayed
That Thou shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path;
But now lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!
So long Thy power hath blest me,
Sure it still will lead me on.
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent,
Till the night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!
Meantime, along the narrow rugged path,
Thyself hast trod,
Lead, Savior, lead me home in childlike faith,
Home to my God.
To rest forever after earthly strife
In the calm light of everlasting life.