We have had some typical-for-harvest-season weather here in the Midwest. Which means we run the gamut from low 50’s to high 90’s to rain to wind to humid to dry….sometimes all within 48 hours.
Just about every Tuesday and Thursday morning, I drive to an early morning (as in well before the crack of dawn) exercise class.
Ok. I took the whole summer off…but this is still a valid story.
The 10 minute drive includes our own typical subdivision houses and street lights, an over pass, and then mostly through a fairly rural setting. I pass parking lots for churches and a retirement community along the way. Larger yards dotted with homes. Reflector strips on mail boxes line the curvy road. Light poles are stationed along most of the route. In my half awake state, I can pretty much go into auto-pilot on this little jaunt to class.
Except on Tuesday morning this week, there was a dense fog blanketing our entire area.
I could see well enough the stop signs as I approached intersections but the rest of the drive was shrouded in an odd dream-like vapor that seemed to eat up all the lights along the way.
Oh, I could see a few little bulbs off to the side of the road, here and there. But they looked liked glowing orbs suspended across the expanse of this murky veil.
They provided illumination for neither their surroundings nor the path I was taking.
I could guess where I was sporadically as I came to intersections and such, but for the most part I could have been traveling down that road for the very first time.
I had no way to judge how far it was to landmarks like the major highway I pass over or the next stop sign; no way to determine the expanse of the curve that I knew was somewhere up ahead.
I could only see maybe car lengths of road at a time that my own headlights were cutting a window of visibility through.
The fog consumed the beams beyond that and to all sides. I was racking my brain to think what my next stop or turn was going to be without the familiar landmarks to cue me nor the ability to see up ahead.
All perception was gone and my instincts were useless in the haziness engulfing my path.
I was disoriented as I slowly made my way realizing that turning back was not an option since I had no idea where a retreat could be safely transacted.
Our class takes place at a large church that sits on a wide expanse of open acreage.
Eventually the lights of the parking lot where class is held appeared across the final stretch of opaque air. But they offered little comfort in all of this because still the last part of the journey had to be traversed through this phantom world the fog had created. The large lighted crosses were not at all visible, just the diffused bulbs of these distorted lights bobbing over what I knew would be my class.
I finally arrived and we gathered under this strange covering and began our workout.
By the time I was headed home, the sun began to rise and burn off the fog.
As I drove home under the first light of dawn, the fog almost gone, I noticed how the lights on homes and churches and along the way helped me see things clearly.
And it hit me. Lights do shine brightly in darkness but they are rendered ineffective in fog.
How like deception.
As Christians, we are told from early on…this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
We encourage each other that as we encounter darkness, light shines even more brightly.
We know in the physical realm that darkness cannot extinguish light and the light penetrates darkness.
But we are increasingly encountering something more than just darkness.
The fog of deception is thick in this world as wrong becomes right and right becomes wrong.
In the confusion of deceiving voices within and without the Church, our little lights cannot be put out…but they can struggle to produce illumination for those who are trying to find their way. They can even get swallowed up and fail to provide light for OUR path.
We can shine all day but in the fog of deception, no one can see the the familiar landmarks of His fingerprints on us and we wear ourselves out trying to figure out what we are doing wrong. We can become disoriented and forget the paths of discipline that were once so familiar to us.
We need a light much greater than our own, my friends, to help us restore vision in the fog around us. Now more than ever, we who are believers must draw our life and light from only One Source and that is the teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We can not abandon studying God’s Word and then applying it through prayer – calling forth His Spirit of Truth to bring revelation into the midst of so much cloudy thinking.
Yes – be the light, but more importantly pray for Christ to shine His light on the path, for each of us as well as our fellow travelers. For those who have lost their way and for those who do not even know there is only One Way, let’s join together and ask God to bring His Truth to enlighten all of us as we….journey onward <3