Monday, August 12, 2013

"Proceed as the way opens..."

"I do not ask to see
the distant scene --
one step enough for me..."

This version of "Lead Kindly Light," takes my breath away.

Confession time: sometimes I feel the urge to get out ahead of the moment. To manage potential risk by securing promises, guarantees, outcomes -- even from God. I want to know "how" something is going to work out, where the funds will come for a project, or whether there are obstacles in my path that I can anticipate and avoid.

Today I was talking with a friend about this very thing. She shared with me a phrase I hadn't heard before. And from the moment I heard it, I wanted to have it tattooed on my heart:

"Proceed as the way opens..." 

Immediately I felt a deep and abiding sense of pure peace about how to proceed. When I arrived back at the office I searched for its origin. It didn't take long to discover that it is a Quaker axiom which is defined as:

"To undertake a service or course of action
without prior clarity about all the details
but with confidence that divine guidance
will make these apparent,
and assure an appropriate outcome."

It re-awakened an unwavering trust in God's hand -- and only God's hand -- in all things. Trust in His unerring plan -- rather than my own. It helped me remember that every preceding step had come without bidding. And that heretofore all we'd done was place our next footstep on each piece of flagstone as it appeared. It reminded me that, in fact, I had trusted...without question. And that all along the way, I'd prayerfully surrendered "my will to Thine." And that my courage had been shored up by this one line from a much-loved hymn:

"I do not need to see
the distant scene.
One step enough for me..."

Nothing had changed. Nothing will every change. The question isn't "how do I figure out what's next," but "where is my faith?" Where I am placing my trust, who do I think holds the reins in my life, and what do I know is at the helm of every moment's unfolding -- in all things. It was never going to be, is not now, nor will it ever become about a particular outcome. It will always be about trust.

In Hebrews we are urged to look to "faith" [from the latin: fidere - or "to trust"] as the substance of things hoped for,"the evidence," of things not seen. This heart-grounding trust in God -- as the only Cause and Creator in our lives -- is all the evidence I will ever really need to be at each and every moment. Mary Baker Eddy gives us this promise in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:

for the claims
harmonious and eternal being
is found only
in divine Science."

True security is found only in our understanding of God's Love. In our childlike surrender to His omnipotent care for each of us. In yielding to Her gentle voice, guiding the hearts' desires. In the inexplicable flinging of one's self into the changeless arms of unwavering goodness -- trusting that each step of this dance is divinely choreographed.

This is the only guarantee, the only security, the only assurance worth banking on -- or stepping with confidence onto the path of.

"Press on.
The way is narrow at first,
but it expands as we walk in it."
- Mary Baker Eddy

shared with affection,


[photo credit: Kateriina Agnes Fagering]


  1. I love "proceed as the way opens" so much more than "we'll cross that bridge when we get to it." I think I'll use that as a mantra now. Thanks, Kate!

  2. It's so good to be reminded that we can have a childlike trust in Father/Mother God. Loved your choice of Hymn #135 so fitting for the post and it yields a sense of peace. Thanks so much!

  3. Kate, I wonder if it would be acceptable to provide a link to this lovely piece in my upcoming blog/article, in which I am referencing Lead Kindly Light. I love this one and would love to share it with my distribution.

    My blog is You may have seen some of them in the Sentinel and Monitor. One is in the May 14, 2014 Sentinel and one in the Monitor two weeks ago.

    I would be privileged to share this inspiring article. I would love to be on your distribution list.

    Sincere Thanks. Patrick M. (Pat) Collins