Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It Was A Dark & Foggy Night.....

“If I had known the fog was this bad I would have chosen not to make the trip.” I uttered those words in frustration as I drove through a blinding fog and gale force winds on the journey home from a family gathering. Our pathway was completely obscured at times during the trip because of the dense fog. The adverse conditions made the drive challenging for me, and at times frightening for my family. Fortunately I was able to keep our vehicle in the center of the roadway for the duration of our journey, yet the inability to see the path ahead created such stress that I could not wait for the torturous travel to end.

In the midst of the fog I found myself pondering, how often do we find ourselves travelling through life, frustrated and anxious because of a foggy path? We can easily position ourselves in the middle of God’s will, yet are unable to enjoy the blessings around us because we don’t have clarity regarding the next step. One of the greatest needs of an individual or an organization is clarity.

Clarity of vision and process is invaluable if we are to accomplish our goals, maintain a healthy direction, or keep a proper perspective. A foggy path on an individual level creates a growing sense of uncertainty, but a lack of clear direction on a corporate level will inevitably lead to growing dysfunction and destroy unity. The ability to see the path ahead has to be a priority.
I have discovered that the key factor in providing clarity on a corporate level for the church I am called to pastor or the family that I am responsible to lead is directly affected by the sense of direction I have personally. At the risk of over simplifying, I have to be comfortable in my direction before I can guide others. We live in an increasingly foggy world. Principles and values that were clear just a few years ago are now cluttered and cloudy. So, how do see past the fog?

There is truly no one right answer. However, God has given us several invaluable tools to help us navigate during the fog of life that we will at times encounter. At times the appropriate response is patience, giving time for the clutter to clear. Other situations will require us to step forward in faith, trusting that the Holy Spirit will guide us through the murky moments. Invariably we will discover if we keep our focus on a very clear God, the gifts and fruit of the Spirit will enable us to move forward in the thickest fog.

As my family and I made our way through the mist on traverse through the fog, our challenging journey would have been much more difficult had it not been for clear road markers and strategically positioned reflectors along this otherwise desolate country road. The markings kept us centered and offered direction as made our way home.

We can be confident that God will, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit provide us the road markers and reflectors we need to stay in the center of the path and to make it safely home.