Zero visibility. And I was driving in it.
All I could think of was those disturbing images of 50 vehicles smooshed in some fog-caused pileup. Thankfully, I made it. But it is scary driving when you have no idea what's ahead.
Which pretty much describes how a lot of folks feel about the times we're living in right now. As Bob Dylan said - "the times, they are a changing." We're just not sure where the road's going.
Technologically, we're so empowered - but potentially powerless if it goes away. Politically, a new President makes it hard to predict where the road will go.
Culturally, our "anything goes" world has taken us into unmapped territory. Internationally, our enemies are flexing their muscles and flaunting their missiles.
And then there are the personal blows. Like the moment last spring when the love of my life was suddenly in eternity. I've driven every mile of my adult life with one person. Suddenly, she was gone.
But I'm far from alone. Many of us have experienced how quickly the road can disappear in a fog. One doctor's visit. One drunk driver. One announcement from the boss. One call from the police. One impulse in your brain. One "it's over" from someone you love.
With so much changing...with so much that can change any moment, security is elusive. Unless we prioritize the truly important things that the fog and the storm can't touch.
1. Guarding Your Island of Sanity.
My wife and I concluded long ago that, while our world was beyond our control, our home was up to us. To guard as the one safe place for us and our children. Our island of sanity in a crazy world.
The Bible praises the woman who is "clothed with strength and dignity" and who can "laugh without fear of the future...she carefully watches everything in her household" (Proverbs 31:25, 27). And it affirms that "he who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge" (Proverbs 14:26).
Minimizing conflict, listening well, sharing real feelings, clear and fair boundaries, loving in each other's language, living what you believe - that's what we can protect, whatever the "weather." Our "safe room."
2. Going by God's GPS.
There's one place I can see, no matter how dense the fog. Only in the presence of the God who rules it all. Listening to God in the early moments of the day through the "Love Letter" He wrote. It's the one place that's always calm, always safe, where the light is always shining.
When I can't see where I'm going - and I've had plenty of moments like that in the past year - "Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path" (Psalm 119:105). The harder it is to spend that time, the more I need it. I get lost if I don't. I can see my way through the fog when I start my day asking God to show me what He sees.
3. Handing Out Hope.
"Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed" (Proverbs 11:25). My Karen was so that person. She told me it was because she laid claim to the promise that "the joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10). She laid anchor in His joy, no matter the medical challenges, no matter the hurt. Nothing that happens in Washington, Moscow, Beijing, on Wall Street or at work can stop you from handing out hope!
4. Staying Close to the Shepherd.
Right now I'm looking at my favorite picture of Jesus - the Good Shepherd, guiding His sheep, cuddling a little lamb in His arms. That lamb is me. Through my darkest night, my fiercest storm, I've been safe. If I stay close to the Shepherd, "even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid for You are close to me" (Psalm 23:4).
I may not be able to see what's ahead. But I'm not driving anyway. He's carrying me.