Learning to Walk in the Fog

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The fog lay thick and heavy, a blanket covering the valley so densely that we couldn’t see past the ends of our very own noses.  We meandered our way to school, zig zagging as one does in the suburbs to get to our final destination.  It was slow and careful and the cars without lights on were menaces, taunting life and feeling particularly brave, perhaps even invincible, I suspect.

The little from the very back row called out to me stating what we were all surely thinking. It’s so hard to see!  And then came the peppering of questions, which is what occurs when a grand statement and a strange morning collide.  Where did this come from?  Why today? How can you even see, Mom?  Hey Mom, if you can’t see how do you know where to go?

Right, little one.  Good question.  If you can’t see how DO you know where to go?

Well, it’s simple.  We’ve driven this route ten thousand times.  When something is that ingrained in your mind you just know where to go.  We could probably make it with our eyes closed because it’s in us.  We just know.  Right, right, stop, straight, stop, right, left, right.  Because when you’ve saturated yourself in a thing, you know which way to go.

How many times in our lives are we faced with the same thoughts, the same questions that my boy had this morning.  How do we know where to go?

When we reach a cross roads or a life decision or are faced with choice where both options are equally good and right and logical.  How do we know where to go?

It seems trite to answer with the very same words I gave my son.  Possibly even demeaning of the situation or choice you may be up against. But it’s true.    You just know.  I mean, if He’s in you, you do.  Christ, I mean.

Because if your life has been so steeped in Him, in His word, in the truths that He gives us and the clear instruction on how we are to live and to follow Him, then we know.  Because if we’ve gone His way ten thousand times and we’ve come before Him ten thousand times and we’ve studied his word ten thousand times then He’s in us.  And He’s with us.  And the same way I could navigate the corners and the narrowing part of the road in the thick fog is the same way we can navigate life when it throws us a heap of uncertainty.  You just do!

You just do take one more step because as much as we like to shout out that we can’t see at all – we can.  And as dramatic as we sometimes make it by proclaiming we just have no clue – more often than not, we do.  And when we feel overburdened by the choice of this way or that – the bottom line is if neither is sin then pick one and go.

Move forward just a bit.  Inch the vehicle up the street.  Stomp that shoe just one step ahead.  Ride your bike toward one way and watch what happens.  You’ll see that as you move one little inch forward you can see one more inch along.  And those inches?  Well, they add up over time and soon enough you’ve driven half way to school, inch by inch.

Here’s the thing, we’re never told that we’re supposed to make all of the right choices and then like some cosmic game of Price is Right, are left guessing with fingers crossed hoping we got the right one.  Our God is not a game show host and He’s not leaving it all up to one right decision or else!

In her book Simply Tuesday, Emily P Freeman talked about faith.  I wish I could look up the quote but I have this habit of giving away great books so that other people can read them too.  So I can’t, but my paraphrase is this.  We are called to live by faith.  Praying for God to show us clarity in all things is like asking Him to give us His knowledge.  Praying for God to show us exactly where we are to go is more like voodoo than faith.  (my words, not hers!)  If we got perfect clarity, exact knowledge by saying the right prayer or mantra or performing just the right ritual then we’re suddenly a part of a different religion altogether.

We’re called to live by faith, not clairvoyance.  We know this, right?  By faith Noah and by faith Enoch and by faith Abraham and by faith Abel and by faith Sarah and by faith we…..

By faith we are to live.  By faith we are to make our decisions.  By faith we are to walk towards one way knowing and trusting that God will have His way.  By faith we understand that there isn’t one cosmic right decision and one disastrous one that will plot the destruction of the rest of our life.  That’s not God.  That’s not how He operates.

So we move forward by faith each day.  In the big decisions and the small and we don’t worry so much about the fog because it’ll lift when it’s time and if it doesn’t then so be it.

He doesn’t give us the fog so that we can’t see.  He gives us the fog so that we have to trust.  He gives us the fog so we learn to walk the way He’s called us to, by faith.

 

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