Monday, July 18, 2011

Foggy

A week or so ago, I woke up early, so I decided to go for a walk before anyone else was up.  I told myself it was the perfect way to start my day, walking outside in the quiet of the early morning shortly after the sun has crept up in the eastern sky, before anyone else is out and about.  Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?  But I must admit, I was feeling a little foggy that morning.  My thoughts were scattered, and I actually couldn't see very well either--everything was blurry, out of focus.

But I set off anyway, feeling, well, feeling a little off-kilter, like all was not well with the world.  As I walked, I talked to God.  Well, I tried to--my thoughts, along with my vision, were cloudy.  After a while, I turned a corner, and as I did, I walked into an early morning mist, the damp fog swirling around and swallowing me, an outer manifestation of my inner experience. 

The sun was shining brightly, and as I walked I imagined I could actually see the sun burning away the fog.  It might have been true because a few minutes later, I turned around, and the fog was gone.  At the same time, I noticed that my personal fog was also gone.  I had left it behind as I walked through the mist and the sun shined down on me, as I talked to God. 

This experience reminded me of my brother's wedding, not because his wedding was foggy or unfocused, but because I was honored to read 1 Corinthians 13 during the service.  We all know the famous verses about love that are found in this chapter, but verse 12 has remained in the forefront of my brain for almost 16 years now:
Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. (NLT)
I certainly felt as if I was looking at the world through a cloudy mirror that morning!

The Message puts it like this:
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!
Because we are human, we can't see God or his presence in our lives clearly.  I think a lot of us have foggy areas in our lives that leave us feeling scattered, unfocused, not quite right, where our vision is cloudy.  I realized on my walk that, if we invite him to, the Son will shine his light into those cloudy areas and burn away the fog, leaving warmth and light in its place, and allowing us to see clearly.  And every now and then, when the kingdom of heaven draws near, we can catch a glimpse of the glory to come. 
Then, we shall see face to face. (NIV)

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