Fog is so strange.
I’m looking out over the water in my place, and I can’t see anything. Well, I can see the fog. And a couple birds. And a few of the cement pillars that mark the edges of the boat launch for people who can’t see over their giant boats to steer accurately . . . Or maybe those are for high tide . . . Either way, I can see a few of those.
Everything else is grey, I’m certain it’s cold, but I don’t really want to get out of my warm car to go feel it.
Experience tells me that fog is wet and cold and weird.
So weird, and I am so warm, but I can’t see.
I’m not someone who is known for looking before I leap. Tripping over the edge of some unforeseen cliff and then shouting up to whoever had more foresight than me, “I’m ok!” Yes, that. I’m more known for that.
Future and anticipation and new things are exciting for me, maybe even vital. I want to run full force into tomorrow, figuring out along the way what all the new sights and sounds and feelings mean to my story and yours.
There is an exception to this practice of leap, then look.
I don’t like pain. I don’t like to feel afraid. I don’t like knowing that what I’m walking into may hurt me or someone I love.
Looking into fog feels a lot like standing on the cusp of something new or unknown, or even familiar, while sensing the ominous nagging that what’s to come may not be what I expected.
I have experience with fog. I know that as I go deeper into the fog, slowly stepping in, I will always gain more clarity than I had the step before.
When looking at a wall of fog, I can’t even imagine the ability to see in such dense uncertainty. But, as I walk farther in, I see the space around me clear, as if my presence in that place moves the clouds around me, and I remember that fog is not solid, but vapor, a mist.
At times I have faced fog in my life and let it keep me stuck. And in special, brave times, I have taken steps further in and watched as faith formed a bubble around me to displace the fear.
It’s true that in fog, I cannot see everything. It is also true that I don’t need to.
What I need to see is the space where my foot should take its next step. I need to see the retreat around me as my moving forward moves the uncertainty out of place. I need to see that, while the fog feels big and powerful and blinding, it is just mist. It’s dependent on cold and dense air – and, winter is not forever.
I’ve seen this place – at the water – in the spring too. On warm days with sunshine and clouds that stay where they belong overhead, I can see for miles.
I can see things that are far away in the open, and the clarity feeds my soul.
But, if I am always looking far beyond, might I miss the close things?
The way each step I take into uncertainty builds my character. The way I see fear flee before growing faith. The way the sun breaks through to make a path for me as day rises. And the way that path was meant for me to walk it – no matter what I can see.
I can’t see far, but I can see close – and close is where Jesus is. Always close. Always with me, no matter what I can’t see.