guiding light(redirected from a guiding light)
Someone who is influential or an inspiration to others. Mother Teresa was certainly a guiding light to many who shared her faith.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
A mentor or an exemplary principle. Presumably this expression refers to the light of a lantern or beacon guiding someone through the dark. The earliest transference of this idea was religious, “light” referring to God or the church. Thus the American Transcendentalist Theodore Parker wrote, “We look to Thee; Thy truth is still the Light which guides the nations, groping on their way.” Sometime in the latter part of the nineteenth century the term began to be used for secular mentors of various kinds.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer