With a reasonable degree of intelligence and ability to discern, each one of us faces the turn of the new year
with a desire toward personal rejuvenation and renewed determination to do what we can to make this next
year better than the last.  Or at least to cope better.  Or to exert more control.  One of Tom Cruise’s classic
lines from
The Last Samurai humbly puts it, “I do not presume to understand the course of my life”.  Only a
wise person is able to make a statement such as this, having begun to understand the futility in trying to
make it happen the way we’d want.     

Joseph H Gilmore lived 1834-1918.  One night while visiting with friends after a church service, this talented
and spiritual young man of 28 hurriedly penciled a poem on a piece of paper and slipped it to his wife.  
Apparently this was a normal course of action for him because he thought no more of it. He was, after all, a
poet and probably did a lot of this kind of scribbling.  His wife believed it to be special and forwarded it to a
magazine called Watchman And Reflector, which in turn featured the poem some time later.  Joseph had no
knowledge of any of this.   

Several years had gone by and he found himself about to candidate for the position of pastor of a sizable
church in upper New York state.  Upon arriving ahead of time and unnoticed, he quietly entered the chapel of
the church, and out of curiosity and perhaps nervous anticipation, he picked up a hymnal and randomly
opened it.  He could hardly believe his eyes as he saw his own poem set to music; now a hymn called “He
Leadeth Me”.  There could be no greater confirmation from the Lord that he had been truly led here to this
church, and that he was moving forward in God’s plan.  

None of us can presume to know the course of our lives, and neither do we need to.  “
Whatever I do,
wherever I be, it’s still God’s hand that leadeth me
.”  The sincere and inspired words of a poet who knew
God’s leading first hand, a man of God’s own choosing a century ago, still ring loud and clear in our hearts
today.  May 2009 be the year we can all say “He Leadeth Me”.

Go to this site to see the words and hear the melody.



“As surely as the sun
rises He will appear,
He will come to us
like the spring rains  
that water the earth”
Hosea 6:3