Biking in to work one morning this last week for the first time of the 2016 calendar year, I was reminded again of the futility of our judgment and the lenses through which we perceive life. It was a dark, very foggy morning, as I started out early, intending to allow the tail end of the day to be shorter too. Without even being off my street, my glasses became covered with numerous small droplets that condensed as I passed through the thick air.
My vision immediately was impaired. Now, instead of the light off my front handlebars guiding my way, it and every other source of light all meshed together in a hazy blur through the water droplets. At this point, of what use are glasses? They become more of a hazard than a help for vision. So, I pulled them further down my nose and peered over the upper rim, in the window of space below the brim of my helmet.
This worked well, until I pulled onto the main road connecting me to my workplace. In the haze I misinterpreted the sidewalk as the far right lane off to the side of the road. I did not want to be merging into a lane in which cars would be sure to fly by, but I failed to recognize where the road really ended. I ended up running myself into the curb of the sidewalk and toppling over on my side. What a wake-up call for the morning! I was no longer sleeping, but trying to regain my composure and see what happened.
This really got me thinking. There are many times when we cannot make out our way in the midst of all that goes on around us in the world. This bustle of activity can be like a fog that restricts our vision, so that we can only clearly recognize that which is right before us. But in the midst of this apparent confusion, we are called to take off our glasses, removing the systems we typically cling to in order to clarify our course and remain in control. And we find that this is the safest thing we can do because the distraction is removed. We then come as we are and look with the bare eyes we are given, trusting that God will direct our way. We can just make out the obstacles to avoid, but it is enough time to swerve clear of the danger. In addition, we are forced to slow down because we recognize we will not be able to react quickly enough if we clip along at a good pace. It is just not worth it.
Could these confusing times also be times in which we are so enveloped in God that we see nothing else? In this sense, the fog is like God’s presence that led the nation of Israel through the desert after its captivity in Egypt. We know He is there, and we rest secure in that reality. Life is not about accomplishment; what lasts is who we become, not what we do. God calls to us from the cloud giving us His Words, reminding us of who we are as His sons and daughters. Can we be content even when our own reasoning fails us, and our eyes are no longer able to be trusted? The beauty of God’s call for us as instruments through which His presence is made known here on this earth is its extra-circumstantial nature. This call remains the same regardless of where we find ourselves, what we are doing, and who is around us.
So, can we learn to trust? Can we seek God’s presence even if circumstances are unclear? Will we let go of our need to know and just come as we are?
Trusting His vision is the safest thing we can do to find our way.
Take a look at the song “Just Be Held” by Casting Crowns that speaks to parts of this theme.