The feeling of having one’s sight restored, of emerging from the haze of a fog bank is one of relief, security and that of restoration to a sense of truthfulness. The problem is that when all you have ever known is the dim mist of a dense fog, you never realize that you are seeing less than you should. It’s been almost 9 months since I turned in my keys and left the world of truck driving but I still remember, as if it were only yesterday, the feeling of waking up early to begin driving in a thick fog. There is a lot of pressure on professional drivers under normal circumstances, and more so when trying to accomplish their tasks in unfavorable weather conditions.
What a lot of people do not understand is that most of the company drivers, (Swift, CRST, Maverick, J.B. Hunt, Schneider, etc…), are ALWAYS at fault whenever there is an accident. It doesn’t matter how unavoidable it seems to be, (with the possible exception of deer hits), the professional driver is at fault. They have federal driver’s licenses and are held to a higher standard of excellence in all things road related. They are supposed to know better. They are always driving too fast, following too close or simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and they should have been somewhere else so that the incident didn’t occur. This doesn’t change the fact that deadlines have to be met and loads have to be delivered on time. When the fog rolls in and you wake up to, “ground-clouds,” there is no respite.
I remember a time when I woke up in southern Ohio in the wee hours of the morning on my way to an early delivery in Tennessee and hitting solid fog as soon as I got to the Kentucky state line. All morning I drove through the thick haze not being able to see more than a few car lengths in front of me. I slowed down so that another vehicle would pass and give me a tail light beacon to follow; I was teetering between having to slow down for safety’s sake and driving at a near-normal speed to get to the delivery on time and not be a hazard on the interstate. Driving in fog is a very tiring thing too. Your eyes start to glaze over and it is almost as though you are in a waking dream; it’s not real – except that it is! The scary part is that you reach a point where it becomes normal. You become OK with not being able to see, the road isn’t going to do anything radical and the odds of hitting anything becomes deceivingly small.
The fog thickens and you realize that you are going too fast, you slow and worry that you have become an obstacle to traffic. You can become comfortable in your ability to navigate a road that you cannot see. You find yourself thanking God that a deer, that you couldn’t see until your front bumper reached the point where it suddenly emerged from its invisibility, thankfully stood still on the shoulder. That’s how the world lives their lives; how we all lived our lives, before we were found in the Lord. We were all born into a fog and learned to understand it as normal. We were lost but didn’t realize that we didn’t know where the road we were on led.
We go through life as though the swirling mist is the only thing we will ever know. We come upon dangers and confusions and can’t see them until they are right in front of our faces. The clouds thin and we pick up speed, thinking that we are the masters of our destinies and then we hit the next dense pocket that blinds us and slows us to a crawl. We are truly lost. There is no GPS to guide us through the twist and turns that are beyond our ability to read as we look out of our filthy windshields. Not a map in the world can explain the route that will lead to a clearer path. God places road signs to guide us but we see them too late to act, or not at all. All we know is that what we have been doing seems to have been working so far, so we keep on doing what it is that we have done before.
When God speaks into our lives we are given the ability to see the road signs in time to act, the milepost that tells us there is another way to go. We decide that any path must be at least as good as the one we have been on, so we heed the call and turn off to try a new direction. We may reach an epiphany, the death of someone close to us, a surgery, accident or illness that stops us cold, we have something so transforming in our lives that it is like a shaft of guiding light so brilliant that it pierces the fog. Sometimes we are given something so undeniable that we are compelled to follow the beacon to the place where the clouds part and we can see clearly for the first time. There is nothing to compare with the feeling of coming out of the fog.
I have broken out of fog banks so suddenly that the brilliance of the daylight was blinding, where I could look in the rearview mirror and see a wall of white standing across the road I was traveling as though it was a fortification of solid stone. The realization that our sight has, for years, been obscured and diffused; the appreciation for the ability to see the colors of a true landscape, can bring us to our knees. We can see the error of our selfish ways and lament the time we wasted insisting that we remain in the fog. We should also see that we have a debt that we can never repay. We have an opportunity; we can do something for those we left in the fog.
We must not be afraid to shine, to proclaim the grace which saved us and the need for the only Saviour that can bring us to the destination we desire. We can be the beacons that lead others out of the same fog we once were lost within. God alone touches us, enables us to hear His call to accept and follow Jesus, but He does more; He gives us tools and allows us the opportunities to use them in His service. Oswald Chambers wrote, “It is not that God makes us beautifully rounded grapes, but that He squeezes the sweetness out of us.” The sweetness that God squeezes from us is not simply to fill His own cup, it is to share with others, with the lost, to refresh and encourage them in their quest toward a thing they cannot yet understand. We are squeezed, pressed, if you will, into His service.
How can a people, a people of God, at once hear and respond to the call of God and then turn and refuse the mission to which He called us. It is as though we are offered a job, as if we accept the position, and then say that although we are grateful for the employment, we aren’t going to do the job. It has been said that with great power comes great responsibility, and I believe that to be true. We have been saved and indwelled with the greatest power, the ultimate power, and so it is our lot to also accept the responsibility, the ultimate responsibility, to help those who we have left behind in the lives we used to live.
Coming out of the fog is only the beginning. To have our eyes opened to a reality that was before hidden from us is the starting point from where we begin the greatest work of our lives. Everything else we ever hope to achieve pales compared to the work God has prepared in advance for us to do. We all have a role to play in the purposes of God and we dare not ignore the responsibility entrusted to us. The responsibility is huge but it is not a chore. God empowers us by His Spirit to accomplish all that He has in mind for us. We are given everything we need to accomplish our tasks and we must always remember that the outcomes are never to make us look better; they are to show the world that the things of God are always given…
All for the Glory of Christ