Our hope for years to come,
Be now our guide while troubles last,
And our eternal home.
Every year we sang this hymn at the New Year’s Eve service at River Terrace Church (East Lansing, Mi) as a grand declaration of assurance at the crossroads from one year to the next. The words creep, uninvited, into my mind whenever I reach a turn, an impass or an unexpected encounter in the road. At one particularly troubling turn, I changed the original words, “be thou our guard,” to “be now our guide,” because I needed more than a shelter from troubles. I prayed for a way through. And, of course I wanted a guide—now.
At the end of 2010, I can look back over this year and those before it and recount all the times the Guide showed me the way. I believe that naming times and places of God’s faithfulness reassures us that our guide will stay with us, come what may, along the open road of 2011.