Since I now live in the country because I married a retired farmer almost two months ago, my commute to work is certainly more interesting.
On Monday, I was up early all ready to leave. I checked that I had everything I needed for the day. My identity badge. My purse. My warm coat. My gloves. My scarf. I even drank a hot cup of coffee. I opened the front door and quietly shut it, locking it behind me.
It was then that I actually looked up and saw the outside. The farm was enshrouded in thick fog. I’ve been in fog before, but this was different. Thicker. More encompassing. I hesitated for a moment and thought about going back in the house, but always the eternal optimist I began my journey on the gravel road.
Oh, my. That was a very long two miles. I don’t know if you realize this, but there are no center stripes on gravel. In fact, there are no stripes at all. In my fog-driving experience, I depend on the stripes to help me stay on the road and know where the center is located. Stripes also gauge the severity of the fog. If I can see four stripes at one time, I know I’ll make it.
But what do you do when the gauge you’ve always used to judge something doesn’t exist?
It didn’t take me long to realize that I’d made a mistake. I forced myself to only look in front of my car. If I looked too far into the distance it made me claustrophobic because I couldn’t see anything past the very front of my car. As I was enshrouded in the fog, moving along slowly, praying for the fog to lift, I thought about my own life of living in fog. And a new Psalm came to me.
A New Psalm
Lord, you are worthy of my praise, even as I’m surrounded by fog and don’t know where to go. It’s as if the elements themselves are rising up against me, threatening to swallow me whole. Where can I turn? Certainly not to the left or the right because I see nothing there.
All the things in this life that have been so important to me, where are they now? Why can’t they help me? I’ve spent time and energy and money on them. I’ve worshipped them, but they’re nowhere to be found. I’ve been so foolish to place such importance on things. Yet that’s exactly what I’ve done. It’s like the fog has lifted and I can see my life more clearly.
Lord, I repent. As you wrote the commandments on stone with your own finger, I was down below melting the gold with Aaron to make an idol. As you were providing manna in the wilderness for the children of Israel, I was complaining that I missed the meat in Egypt. When Joshua stood outside the Promised Land and said that we should choose this day whom we would serve, I didn’t know if I could let go of my idols.
As Jesus was being taken away to be crucified, I was with Peter denying him so quickly it made my head spin.
Yes, Lord, I’ve been living in a fog. Forgetting Our God. Forgetting the One who made me. Who died for me. Who rose from the dead for me. Lord, forgive me.
Lord, I can’t turn around, so I must simply go forward. Will you go with me? Will you light up my path? Will you invade this threatening army of fog and bring clarity as you bring it to its knees? Will you show me the narrow path that leads only to you? Will you help me to walk it not only during times of fog, but also on days filled with sunshine?
Even though I can’t see you, Lord, I know you’re here. I feel your presence. How many times have I been so busy checking things off my to-do list that I’ve forgotten to look up and see you? I’m so sorry. When Peter realized that he’d denied you three times, he must have been heartbroken. That’s how I feel. But you are the mender of broken hearts and broken lives. Mend me, Lord. Make me more like you.
Lord, I can’t turn to the left or the right, so I turn to you. I look for you in the fog. I look for you in my life. You my Creator and my King, you don’t disappoint. You lead me out of the fog and bring me safely home, as you will one day when this life on earth is over. Thank you, Lord. I praise your holy name. Selah.