Lessons from the Fog

Pea soup.

That’s what I drove through as I pulled out of my garage this morning. The fog was as thick as pea soup. It was cool and a little creepy. It felt like I was on the moors in England. I checked the moon to see if it was full. Fortunately it won’t be that for another week. No worries then about potential werewolf attacks. It’s amazing how one small change in the environment can affect your imagination.

I pulled to the corner of my edition. My lights cut through the fog, but not very far. I couldn’t tell if it was safe to make the turn but slowly risked it anyway. Driving my regular route in the darkness and through the mist the landscape was transformed. The comfort of the familiar gave way to apprehension. Houses, businesses, street lights and signs, comfortable landmarks I use to find my way and so common in daylight, now hidden behind a vale of grey.

You’ve been in a little fog like this before. Maybe you woke up a little foggy this morning. Your mind isn’t as clear as you hoped. Your heart isn’t as focused as it needs to be. Perhaps life’s circumstances have hidden the comfort of the familiar behind a vale of grey. There are a lot reasons why you could be a little foggy.

  • Mistakes, wrong turns, bad decisions – these can clutter your path and confuse the choices you need to make.
  • Changing circumstances make it difficult to navigate. Maybe your career is shaky. Perhaps your marriage is unstable. Unexpectedly you’ve found yourself in a new environment that affects your imagination and what you imagine is more nightmarish than happily-ever-after.
  • Pain is another one. Sick people, people in pain, don’t make decisions the same way healthy people do. Pain in your life – physical, emotional, relational, spiritual – dulls the senses. Pain becomes the catalyst for bad attitudes and bad decisions. It becomes an excuse for selfishness and self-centeredness.

Driving Through the Fog

When driving through the fog there’s only a handful of ways to arrive safely at your destination.

  • Pray Hard – Prayer is the light that cuts through the darkness. God may not illuminate every detail, but He will show you the path ahead. He can lead you into your next step. Wherever He leads is sure and secure even if you can’t see the destination ahead or the familiar landmarks that comfort you along the way.
  • Slow Down – but don’t stop. Move forward with deliberate purpose. Mistakes, changing circumstances and pain can trick us into thinking the answer that brings immediate relief is the right one. But this is often not the case. Giving up on the relationship, giving in to the pain, if we’re not careful these can lead us down a path that only makes things worse.
  • Be Patient – this is about endurance. Patience is the calm assurance that comes from understanding that God isn’t finished with you yet. Where you are today isn’t where you will be tomorrow. God will move your life forward. Be patient with Him and with others. Whatever you face today it’s only one chapter, maybe just one page, in a very long story. Be patient enough to see the story through to the end.
  • Give & Receive Grace – Sitting in the fog at the four way stop sign facing another driver you have a choice to make. Who goes first? As long as you’re thoughtful of one another you’ll both make it safely through the intersection. When selfishness takes over is when you both make mistakes, pull out where you don’t belong and cause an accident. Learn to give and receive grace.

Maybe you’re a little foggy today. That’s exciting, and a little creepy. You can make it safely through the fog.

 

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