One Foggy Day

I woke up to fog this morning.

I groaned a bit when I looked out the window.  See, today was my personal retreat day.  Yes, I am fortunate enough to work for an organization that sees the value of solitude and gives each teacher one day off to commit to it.  And I was going to climb a mountain.  The skies were supossed to be blue and warm breezes were going to sweep across my sun-kissed face as I gazed out over the landscape and marveled at how much everything, both externally and internally, was perfectly in place.  Was peaceful.

But the fog ruined my plan.

Ironically, I’ve been facing some things that have me feeling conflicted, confused, torn.  I’ve often described this feeling in my journal as a fog.  I wish it would go away.  And sometimes, it does, and a gentle peace replaces it.  But then, it returns.

This morning, I decide against the mountain climb and choose to hike the river trail instead.  All the way up, I drive in and out of fog.  I round a corner and come face-to-face with a blast of foggy white.  A few bends later, it vanishes.  The road dips, swells, and again I find myself amongst the dense white.  This continues the whole way.  In-and-out.  Round-and-round.  Up-and-down.

I moan because it feels so familiar.  So much like my life right now.  Where I find peace and clarity one day and uncertainty the next.  This in-and-out stuff has been confusing to me.  I feel conflicted–how can I be sure that I’m following the path God has brought about for me when it often feels so…foggy?

And then the thought begins to form: Fog requires faith.

For me to stop my car on a foggy bend in the road would not only be dangerous for me but would also pose a huge hazard for others.  Worse yet, what if I would react to the fog by whipping my car around and racing in the opposite direction?  Hazardous and stupid.  The best thing I can do is slow down, open my eyes wide, follow the yellow line, and keep moving.  Keep traveling the road God has led me on.

Because at some point, around some curve, the fog will break.    Afterall, the road is the same, it’s simply the atmosphere that has changed.

But it takes faith to remember that and continue in courage.  It takes faith to remember that this is the same road that seemed so clear and peaceful around the last bend.  It takes faith to remember that the One who cleared the skies is also navigating the fog with me.

So, in my car, I forge on.  I make it to my destination — the river, a place low enough to escape the fog.

And in turn, in my life, I press on.  Rather than resist the fog, I choose to let God use it to cultivate the faith it requires.

And I pray that when the fog does lift, that the blue skies will shine down on a heart that has learned a little more of what it means to follow. 

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