Light Prayers: 16. The First Gleam of Dawn

Proverbs 4:18  NIV  “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.”

Proverbs 4:18  KJV  “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”

The picture that captivates me in this verse is the path.  While it is technically appropriate to call it a path, it doesn’t capture the sense of the verse at all.  Here in California, a path is usually primarily conspicuous for its definition.

Supposed you want to go for a hike in the hills above Laguna Nigel.  There will be a beginning point to the path, and it is usually a loop bringing you back to the same place.  The web will tell you how long it is and the degree of difficulty.  And, along the way there will be odious signs telling you to stay on the path.

California hiking trails tend to lack mystique.  They are plebian.  You go from A to B and check it off your cool cat check list.

Now England!  That is another story.  You can hike far and wide on narrow paths that go back for centuries.  You wander through people’s back yards and through ancient high places.  Your path is intersected by other paths that invite you to wander off at some tangent.  The scenery is variegated as are the other people you meet along the way.

The South West Coast Path in England will give you 630 miles of coastline and is billed as one of the top walks in the world!

THIS is more of the picture captured by this verse.  The focus is not primarily on the righteousness life.  This is not a blessing for the pious monk who has kept his habit clean of all carnal activities for two weeks.

Not a bit.  This is a blessing for the man on a journey – for the individual who is living life with intensity, wrestling with the grime of reality and seeking to impose the life of God on his patch of land.

This is a blessing for those whose journey has more twists and turns than straight patches; for the man or woman who knows what it is like to make a course correction, and another and another!

This is for our tribe.  People on a journey.  A grand journey.  A messy one.  One marked by the triumphs and treasures the godly monk never knew.

And notice if you will, that it is not the man on the path who shines with divine light.  Not at all.  It is the path that shines.

Again, this speaks of our tribe.  We are trailblazers.  Where there is no path, we brave the unknown and forge a small trail through the pain and mire of brokenness and sin.

Ah, but where we walked with such pain and sacrifice, we see the pioneers coming along behind us, building and implementing where we only broke trail.  And the tiny trace of our first efforts becomes defined by those who follow, until anyone can find this pathway of light for those who are not faint of heart.

So I invite our tribe to pray big this week.  THIS is our blessing, our world.

Bless the paths we walk in our defiant, delightful journey to immensity, noble subjects who never look back.

Bless those paths with becoming incredibly light charged, so those coming behind find their way joyously through the fields we stumbled through.

Let the light shine ever brighter!

Copyright May 2014 by Arthur Burk

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18 Responses to Light Prayers: 16. The First Gleam of Dawn

  1. lyndawrites says:

    The work of a pioneer – a trailblazer – is tough, like you so skillfully conveyed.

    The brush and the snakes feel like too much for me to endure, especially today. My heart is aching with grief from my situation,


    your words give me renewed strength that my trail may help my children and grandchildren.

    I will force myself to get off this moss-covered rock and continue hacking at the brush, flicking the bees away, and wiping the sweat off my brow.

    Thank you.

  2. Jim Powell says:

    “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.” (Jer. 6:16) The good path where the Spirit of the Lord is often the less traveled. Enoch had 365 years to work out a lot of the details of this “walking with God” adventure. His experiences, the stories of what was seen and said would be captivating. Yet I can understand why we have not been given the privilege of hearing them; we would idolize them and want the re-runs for ourselves. “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man, the things God has prepared for those who love Him.” If we stay diligent to trod the good path, I believe we will have more and greater encounters along the way. Maybe even better than Enoch.

  3. Pamela says:

    This part makes me tear up.

    “And the tiny trace of our first efforts becomes defined by those who follow, until anyone can find this pathway of light for those who are not faint of heart.”

    “…so those coming behind find their way joyously through the fields we stumbled through.”

    Wow what a thought… I’ve been honored by G-d with an opportunity to trail blaze. I’ll gladly spend what’s left of my life blessing this trail.

  4. Deborah says:

    YES, YES, YES!!! Thank you, Arthur!

  5. phyllis says:

    NOW THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!!! Often you articulate what I think and feel but can’t quite express. Thanks, it’s good to be heard and even better to be understood. You represent the real in our life in Christ.

  6. Lisa says:

    AMEN AND AMEN AND AMEN. Travelled just such a path this week. And when the ground cried GLORY my spirit CRIED out to the Ancient of Days:
    ISAIAH 58: 12 – Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and will raise up the age-old foundations;
    you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
    Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.



  7. Sonia says:

    Oh I really like this one! I will dance and pray this one. Pray and bless because of immense awe and joy built with you and for you SLG. Also for the other Father orchestrated to cross and walk with me, for I truly was not alone.
    Thank you!!

  8. Irina Rivera says:

    I can’t tell you how much this speaks to me! For so long I took my “little sister good girl” self as righteous when really that was more fear based than righteous. Father lovingly put me in murky places – and I got mud in my shoes. I remember a prophetic word where the person literally saw me trudging up a mountain in mud. It’s slow and tiring but the triumphs are real. Thank you for honoring us and yes “Lord, please may our footprints become lighted paths! Praise you Jesus for loving our efforts and being our light! It’s your light that guided us.”

  9. Geoffrey B Whitehead says:

    Awesome!!! Thanks for describing a Brits pathway not just a British Foot Path. As an English American, one who spent 2/3rds of my life in Great Britain and who now lives in Florida, you have almost described me and my journey to a tee. In connecting with you and SLG , it has made sense of the journey I am on and it is giving understanding to my wife of two years. We appreciate all your pioneering work and find the tools you bring to the table extremely helpful. So glad to know there are others in this tribe who are willing to be pioneers and trailblazers. Blessings to you and all at SLG, and we are praying for further enlightenment.

  10. Kate Mazur says:

    Sparkles are glimmering and shimmering!!! YES!!!! The paths are lit and gleam and (I conclude) are NOT hard to find!! Praise God!!

    Reminds me of Psalm 25: 4 & 5 (my life verse!!):

    “Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day.”

    It sparkles right along with Jeremiah 16:6:

    “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.”

    Yes, yes, YES!!! I delight in paths and am thrilled by the description of southern England! Oh, my: maybe I can walk them someday- inviting and perfect! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I admit there is nothing that gets me going like being in a group of trailblazers. Can’t tell if I’m a pioneer or what, but am elated to be part in anyway. Thanks for sharing all this! Woo hoo!! Will pray!!!

    • K8 says:

      Correction. I typed the incorrect reference for the verse in Jeremiah. Should have typed Jeremiah 6:16.

  11. Paul says:

    I’m one who is coming from behind and rejoicing because of the LIGHT that is now shining on my path. Thank you for being trailblazers!

  12. Bunmi says:

    I feel the excitement!! It is contagious and I say YES and AMEN!!!!

    Sent from my iPhone


  13. Nico says:

    What really stirs within me when reading this, is a scene from the Matrix, where Morpheus says to Neo: “…there is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”

    In my life I have often craved the A to B paths. I have asked God to lead me to those paths as it feels like the choices I have made in life have often veered of the beaten path. Like Paul I lament that I want to do good, yet I do not do it.

    But the past year I have realized that God doesn’t want to make copies or robots. He is taking me on my own unique journey and forming me despite my choices.

    At every crossroad, as I live more and more through Christ, as I surrender my life to him as a Holy and living sacrifice, the truth of Proverbs3:5-6 manifests and I am walking the path.

    Proverbs 3
    “5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
    6 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will will direct your paths.”

  14. ruthiespage says:

    Best yet! I’m there with you and look forward to the next bend in the path!

  15. judi viglianti says:

    Thanks Arthur for giving dignity and purpose to the art of stumbling forward. That was quite touching to read. “the first gleam of dawn” is exactly where I catch Him most often and run hard after what I felt. By mid day sun it’s all awash….too much…too many variables so I wait again for Him in the early light. Those first few moments of each new day seem to be sacred to my spirit’
    s ability to catch Him. Thankyou for putting it into words.

  16. nancy says:

    I love this! It is so encouraging and refreshing to know messy is involved in leaving a legacy!
    Yes, brighter still. I’m praying with you and SLG.

  17. Rosemary Williamson says:

    I so love this! This has been our walk and still is and so comforting to know it is the path that gives light! So happy to be part of this tribe! Praying!

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