When I married Mel last October I knew that my life would change. I moved to the farm realizing that driving to work via a gravel road and curvy highways would be a new experience. I knew there would be challenges in the changes. But that’s the thing about changes that are in the future -- we really don’t know how they’ll translate into daily living until we live them.
Since living in the country I’ve experienced snow drifts so thick and high the back door wouldn’t open. I’ve seen horizontal snow caused by incredible winds. I’ve driven on ice-covered roads and discovered that driving on mud is a very similar experience. I’ve also realized something that I’ve never thought about. Gravel roads have no center lines. I found this out one morning in the midst of fog so thick you could beat it in a mixer and make it into a fluffy topping for dessert.
I’ve also learned how to recognize frozen pipes, blown fuses and a broken well pump.
I’ve encountered a very plump mouse in my car. I’ve met two friendly possums by the back door. (I think they’re both near-sighted.) I said hello to a little garter snake in the basement. I met a few pheasants showing off their tail feathers the day before hunting season opened. And I’ve waged war with armies of box elder bugs as well as legions of Asian beetles.
But this week I encountered something new. Driving to work one morning in thick fog I was surprised by the sun. The sun was shining in the midst of the fog. I did something I’ve never done before. I put on my sunglasses. And what was even more surprising is that I could see the road better.
As I was thinking about this I realized it’s because the sunglasses provide just the right filter for the sunlight and for the fog. That’s important in life, too. The filter we use to live our lives makes all the difference.
How do you see the world? Are you influenced by the latest fads? Maybe you love technology and have to have the latest newest gadget. There’s nothing wrong with technology. It’s a great tool, but don’t base your life around it. It won’t help you in the midst of tragedy. It can’t guide you in the truth. Only Jesus can do that.
Maybe you depend on your relationships to fill you up and give your life meaning. We are social creatures. We need to be in friendship and fellowship with others. God did not create us to be alone. But He also did not intend for us to get our identity and worth from others. He created us with the need to be close to Him. If we do not know Him or refuse to follow Him, we will have an emptiness that no one or nothing else can fill.
Maybe you love to learn. That’s great. It’s a joy to learn new things at any age and to apply that knowledge to our lives. I love that moment when something makes sense and becomes clearer. Some of my most clear moments have come from reading the Bible. It’s the best filter for living our lives. Jesus demonstrates how we are to live our lives here on earth so that we may enjoy eternity with him and the Father in Heaven. His words show us the way.
When Jesus died on the cross for our sins and then after three days rose from the dead, he showed who he really is. The Son of Man and the Son of God. When he ascended to Heaven he didn’t leave us alone. He left the Holy Spirit with us to lead us and guide us to all truth (John 16:3).
Whether your life is foggy or sunny or both, live it with the right filter, Jesus. Then you will know the right path no matter what road you’re on or what conditions in which you’re living. In the midst of the fog of life, Jesus is the Son shining through.
On the farm I’ve also encountered some of the most breathtaking sunsets and most glorious sunrises. I’ve heard choruses of birds singing their little hearts out. I’ve experienced the peace of the Lord living in a house filled with prayer, with God’s word, with love, and with Jesus being right in the middle of everything we do. He is the filter for our lives separately and for our lives together. There is no greater blessing than to be in fellowship with the one who created everything and everyone, including possums, box elder bugs, and sunshine in the midst of fog.