Most of us think of fog as the early morning magical mist that makes the earth feel isolated and quiet; or we identify fog with the 1980 John Carpenter horror film about ghosts that emerge out of a mysterious fog to claim retribution on a town. I think there may have even been a remake of the Fog a few years back. Personally, I want to know when the musical is coming out. I’d see that for certain.
A few days ago, I was driving to work on a rather foggy morning. I have a simple commute that involves two straight stretches of highway. I always know exactly where I am, and how long I still have to go, based on the land markers I pass. But this morning, I didn’t quite know where I was. I couldn’t see anything except the road, and white brume. I usually have an internal compass, and can tell north from south, blindfolded. Okay, not really, but I do know my directions very well. So, I’m trudging on down the highway, paying much closer attention to the houses that I pass, so I have a CLUE to my current location. For the record, I didn’t see any ghosts in the fog, which is rather disappointing.
Details in the fog – but no zombies
But I did notice far more detail about the houses that I passed than I usually notice. I tried to catalog the information for the next fog encounter. But I want you to know that I didn’t really need to know exactly where I was. I was on the right road, I was going the right direction, and it was a straight highway. You may already see where I am going with this. No zombies in the fog this time.
Fog is an interesting thing. It can have a mystical effect, obscuring or changing the perception of what is normally recognizable and reducing visibility. It can also be a state of mental confusion. I think we all encounter different forms of ‘fog’ now and then in life. But there’s no need for anxiety, or micro-analyzing exactly where you are on the road. Honestly, does it really matter? You should be on a straight path. It would be different if you were hacking out your own trail through the wilderness, or if you were on a winding treacherous path, filled with sharp cliffs and rocks. But you aren’t. You are on the straight road. You will wind up at the proper destination at a God-appointed time, fog or not. It didn’t matter if I recognized the houses. The houses weren’t my destination, nor in my path, but merely beside it.
Much like some of the circumstances in our lives that come and go, it doesn’t matter how much attention we give to what is off to the side of our road. We really need our main focus to be on what is in front of us.
And the best of the three is love
I Corinthians 13:12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! 13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. (MSG)