Friday, April 11, 2014

Living through fog

Today I drove to work in the fog. It was beautiful. Driving past the hills and trees, nature's treasures revealed in pockets of clear air.

I love the fog because it reminds me of home. It has a calming effect on me.  If I am driving, I simply have to focus and let go of the busyness in my mind. If I am watching, then I can just enjoy its coolness and the effect it has on quieting the countryside around me.

Source unknown

Often I use fog as a metaphor, and in those scenarios it is usually not beautiful. It describes feeling blinded, surrounded by the unknown. Afraid of what we might meet ahead, or what might collide into us. Afraid of making a wrong turn or getting lost. I have used it to describe how I felt in times of deep despair, afraid of my own feelings, the outskirts of my narrow focus blurred & fogged to diminish the pain.

But today it was beautiful. You see, I was traveling a path known to me. I know what lives beyond that fog. I know what is over the hill, around the next bend, where I might meet an oncoming car or an edge with no guardrail. And the new metaphor that came to my mind was both stunning and calming.

In a brief moment, God let me see our fear fogs through His eyes.  He always knows what surrounds us. When we are living in fear, brokenness, confusion, worry, stress, temptation. He knows what we are facing, what surprises await (or don't await!), the feelings we are hiding from, or what we are running from. We can trust that. Most importantly He knows how to navigate us through it! Like my drive to work on a well known road, to Him there are no surprises -- and there are even very beautiful things hiding in the fog that He is waiting to reveal to us.

Compassion isn't just about physical actions, and it's not always for everyone else. It's also about learning to let go of control and hand it over. This is a compassion we can show to ourselves, and that we can share with others.

I pray that in your times of fog, and in my own, that we remember Who is the light that will take us through it and who will, if we allow, hold us up on our trembling knees while we face the surprises that come.

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