Fog of Faith
By Anthony Casperson
In the pre-dawn hours of this past Monday, I stepped out of my house to go to work only to be met with a thick fog. It was like something out of a horror movie. And even though I’m not a big fan of that genre of film, my mind reeled with thoughts of what lurked beyond the edge of my obscured vision.
I wasn’t afraid, but the vapor condensing so close to the ground set me on edge a little. So, I asked myself why it is that we human beings have this caution when we come face to face with a dark and foggy situation. Why does it seem so scary? Have we (those within western culture, at least) been programmed by our consumption of media to feel this way in this situation? Or is there something else causing this?
Continuing to question my sense of apprehension, I drove to work. I came to an area that I knew should have a traffic light appear shortly, but I saw no little glowing dots of green, red, or yellow. Disoriented, I slowed down, hoping that I would come to see what I knew should exist. I hoped that I would find the light before coming into contact with another vehicle.
Then my car inclined up a small hill and the red light came into view. I had forgotten that this hill was there. I don’t think about it in my normal commute. Those little glowing dots are not my only source of direction when everything is clear. Thus, losing track of them is less alarming in my everyday routine.
Driving further, I came to a main road. Another car, going the same direction I was, pulled into the lane next to me. Their headlights were obviously in the bright setting because as they came parallel to me, the fog became even more difficult to see through. The vapor reflected their intense lights so much that the distance I could see in the fog lessened.
Even though I knew they wouldn’t hear me, I said out loud, “Bright lights aren’t helpful here. You just have to trust in the dimmer ones.” And it was then that the answer to my question came to me. Why do we human beings feel set on edge while in a dark and foggy situation? Why does it seem so scary? It’s because we have to trust.
We have to trust that there’s not some monster out there lurking in the mist. We have to trust that our only source of direction will come into view before it’s too late. We have to trust that dim light will be enough to guide us. We have to have faith. And faith is scary. At least, from a human perspective.
Faith and trust require a reliance on something or someone outside of our control. Our senses and abilities aren’t enough to protect and guide us. There’s very little that we can do in the situation that will help us. And often when we try to do something, like turning on bright lights in the fog, we just end up making it worse for ourselves and others.
We spend so much time trying to force our environment to bend to our will, that when things don’t follow that desire, our lack of control leaves us on edge. And we want to run away in fear.
No wonder trust and faith in the working of God in our lives is so difficult for most. God works in ways far beyond human understanding. Isaiah 55:8-11 tells us this and goes beyond by saying that God’s purpose will always be accomplished as he desires.
Our fear in the fog of faith is because we still want to take control of our reality. We want to do what pleases us. And in doing this, we kick God off of his rightful throne. We lose sight of his guiding light while trying to take control. And we lose momentum in the growth he has worked in us.
Sure, the fog is scary, but the God we trust not only created the mists of the earth, he can see through them and wants our best. Let’s stop trying to force our way through with bright lights and follow his light.