Last summer, Matt and I traveled up to the mountains to spend a weekend celebrating a friend’s 40th birthday. On our way up the mountain, we suddenly found ourselves in the midst of a dense fog. We could barely see what laid ahead, and we felt disoriented as we drove slowly along the windy road, hoping that the fuzzy red tail lights in front of us would not lead us astray.
As we continued up the road at our snail’s pace, the fog eventually cleared. We breathed a sigh of relief as we regained our vision and renewed our confidence. Now that we were able to see clearly, we looked around at the beauty of the forest that had once been shrouded by the fog. We were able to take deep breaths of that fresh mountain air and smell the fragrance of the evergreen trees.
Once we drove a few more miles and emerged from the wall of trees, we looked out to our right and saw a sea of white clouds hanging amidst the mountains. Only the peaks, set against a purple sky, reached out above it. The magnificence of the sight took my breath away as I realized that those clouds composed the fog through which we had driven. From this vantage point, what had once brought so much confusion and discomfort now struck me with awe. I now soaked up the beauty that had previously escaped me.
There are times in life when we can’t see more than a step ahead. We feel lost and confused as we travel along, unable to see the beauty around us. The fog that envelops us slows us down and threatens our ability to make sense of our surroundings. It disorients us and causes us to question if we’ve lost our way.
I feel a bit lost these days. The plans I had have slipped from my grasp. Some of the lines that once seemed so clear have been blurred. Part of me wants to turn back to where I felt more safe and sure. Part of me wants to struggle against the fog as if I could swing hard enough to make it disappear. Part of me wants to pull over and wait it out. And yet, I hear this invitation…
Can you learn to embrace the fog? Will you trust that seeing just one step ahead is enough? Would you believe that the beauty remains even when it’s hard to perceive?
Maybe there’s a gift in the fog. It reminds us that we don’t have as much control as we thought we did. Though we once believed that a clear road ahead meant that we knew what was to come, we now see clearly that we don’t have all the answers. We recognize that our only option has always been to just take one step at a time. Maybe the fog reminds us to release our expectations and our tightly held beliefs and instead to trust the light that guides us, as fuzzy as it may be.
There will be a day when the fog will clear a bit. I’ll see things from a different vantage point, and I’ll look upon the beauty of the journey that I have travelled. I’ll be able to perceive the path that is carved before me. The challenge then will be to continue to depend on the light to guide me even when I think I know where I’m headed.
For now, I’ll accept the invitation to embrace the fog as I step into the unknown. Though I might not be able to see where I’m going, I’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other, trusting that God is with me. I’ll release my grasp and receive his peace. I’ll search for the beauty and breathe in the goodness. I’ll make my way one step at a time, each footprint a symbol of faithful surrender.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – John 14:27