Ahh, early March in Wisconsin. High School basketball teams are playing regional and sectional matches, gearing up for their runs for the state championship. It's March Madness time!! It's also time for ANOTHER kind of madness that occurs in late winter / early spring - driving through fog.
Driving through fog is NOT fun! And, just to make things interesting for us drivers, fog comes in different kinds of "un-fun-ness" as well. There's the kind of fog that hangs just slightly above everything so it's like you're driving under a really low-flying cloud. Then there's the opposite kind - low-lying fog. Above you it's clear blue sky, yet ahead of you and all around you there is nothing but fog. Then there's "patchy fog." You're driving along and all of a sudden it's foggy! Then it isn't. Then it is. And then there's fog . . . at night - a sometimes deadly combination. I'm not sure which is worse, driving through dense fog during the day when everything is bright and white, or driving through fog after dark when you can't see ANYTHING!! Probably night fog is the worst.
It was foggy on my way to church Sunday morning. Not too bad though. But it was foggy enough that I couldn't see the big water puddle that stretched across the entire road in front of me. SPLASH!! Water everywhere! That really kind of scared me. All that water I disturbed really made a lot of noise when it hit the underside of my car. That got me to thinking. About slowing down? No. I'm a guy. Why would I do that? No, I got thinking, what would happen if someone took me and placed me out on a frozen, snow-covered lake and there was a thick, dense fog hanging in the air. Everything above me, beside me and beneath my feet was white. I wouldn't know which direction to go to get to shore!
And what if it was March like it is now and, to go along with the fog, the lake ice was melting. What if out there beyond the fog where I was standing, there was open water. Deep, dark, frigid icy water. And what if whenever I took a step, I heard and felt the ice crack underneath my feet. What would I do? How would I get to shore? I'd be standing there in the midst of a total white-out, I'd have no idea which direction to take and there is no sound what-so-ever. What would I do? What would YOU do?
What a helpless . . . hopeless situation to be in. What would you do? Would you scream out for help? That might be an option. But nobody could see you. And another person's weight on the fragile ice might be just enough to send you and any would-be helpers plunging into the icy depths. No. Screaming for help is not a good idea. Think about it. What would you do? Hmm. I asked a young friend of mine this question and he came up with a pretty good idea.
"The first thing I would do would be to get down on my knees and begin to crawl. That way, I'd be spreading out my weight more and, if I DID fall in with one hand, I'd have another hand and two legs on the ice. Theoretically." Smart kid. Smarter than even HE realized. He gave the best possible answer and he didn't even know he had done it. Get down on your knees.
So many times we encounter challenging situations, sometimes life and death situations. We try to figure our way out of the mess we're in, trying to come up with a plan so we can save ourselves. Perhaps the best, first thing we could do in my icy, foggy scenario, is pray. Get down on our knees and seek guidance and assistance from our King.
Perhaps then we will hear God speak through a breeze as it begins to clear the fog away, or we might hear the sound of the wind as it travels through the trees on shore, indicating to us a direction of travel. All things are possible.
I think we tend to rely on ourselves too much. WE have to be the ones who come up with all the answers. For example, why can't we just accept the fact that God created the universe and leave it at that. Why do we need to know if the earth is six thousand years old or 13.7 billion? I think it's because WE have to be in control of everything. Simply relying on God is not good enough for most of us. Yet, throughout the Bible, relying on God is exactly what He has always wanted us to do.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6
What if you were placed on that fog enshrouded lake, not to see if you could get off the lake, but as a test of your faith. God tested Abraham when he asked Abraham to sacrifice his son. Are we exempt from being tested by God in OUR daily lives these many years later? No. So, when we find ourselves tested this week, how will we respond? Will we try walking off the ice by ourselves? Or will we get down on our knees, seek His face, and be content with whatever challenges comes our way.