Driving through the fog of life

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By Jon Rohr

These cool mornings and hot humid evenings have led to some foggy mornings lately. I sort of enjoy the sense of quiet and isolation the fog brings when I walk the dog in the morning. But out on the road it can be a different story.
Getting in the car on a foggy morning can be an adventure. Most fog is pretty thin and doesn’t cause much of a problem, but it can change quickly. Driving along suddenly there is a little valley and visibility drops dramatically. What was once clear becomes shrouded in mist, and the road seems to disappear. Even roads we know well can become treacherous. We may have an idea where the next turn is, but who can tell what is around that turn? Our normal morning drive can take on terrifying intensity.
Sort of like life isn’t it? Most days are clear sailing, but then the fog of life slips in. We think we know what is coming next, but suddenly the path grows dim. Life pops up and the twists and turns of life become less certain. We tend to think of the bad things that throw us off course, but good news can change things as well. Losing a job certainly changes things, but so does a promotion that requires you to move to another city. The fog of life can change things in a hurry!
Perhaps this is why the Bible says, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12 ESV) To see through a mirror dimly is sort of like looking at yourself in the bathroom mirror after taking a hot shower. The image is there, but the fog on the mirror distorts it, makes it unclear.
As we face our daily lives, we want to see clearly, but all too often the fog gets in the way. The wonderful surprises of life, its terrible tragedies lay across our road like fogbanks, hiding what comes next. And then, because we have been thrown a little off course, we begin to think that the Lord has forgotten us or forsaken us. What we thought we understood about him becomes less clear. Doubt and fear, even pride, begin to dim our view of him.
His promise is that one day, through his grace, he will reveal himself to us fully. In this life full of foggy roads and unexpected events, we may lose our way. But he never loses sight of us. Even at our best, we only see a dim reflection of his glory. He has amazing plans for us, but we catch only fleeting hints of them through the fog.
This is where faith comes in. Not that we know the path, or see everything clearly, but that we trust the one who guides us. Though we catch only a bare glimpse of his full glory, by faith it is enough. Trust him, and like the sunshine burns away the fog, one day his glory will burn away every doubt and fear. And then we will see him as he is and know him as he knows us!