❝The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day, to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light, so that they might travel by day and by night.❞ Exodus 13:21
Reflection by Albert Culbreath
Louis L’Amour’s adventurer, Mathurin Kerbouchard, is one of my favorite characters in any book, and his twelfth-century trek from Brittany to Persia in L’Amour’s The Walking Drum was chock-full of adventure and lessons. Amid Mathurin’s roles of slave, pirate, translator, scholar, warrior, physician, and alchemist, his travel with a merchant caravan, and his description of the drumming that helped keep the caravan moving and on the right path, came to mind when I read this passage from Exodus.
Mathurin said, “We often sang as we marched, and there was always the sound of the walking drum, a sound I shall hear all my life, so deeply is it embedded in the fibers of my being….”
In life’s journey, not only is the path we should take not always obvious, but it’s not always obvious that there is a path. Seldom do we have physical signs of direction anything like the pillars of cloud and fire that God gave the children of Israel during their wilderness adventure, or the walking drum that led Mathurin’s caravan – especially signs that are evident to everyone.
I believe God provides, each of us, “embedded in the fibers of our being,” a pillar of light and a walking drum to help us find and follow our path. We likely will have to stop and be quiet, however, in order to see and hear them.