The Fog

The world is like an enormous cloud of fog. It’s murky, insubstantial, easily disappearing in the sun or the wind. Friends come and go, the seasons change, nations rise and fall and rise once more. We experience a story for the first time and it will never be new again. We are like grass that sprouts up in the spring and dies in the hot August sun. Fog sitting on a hill.

We sons of Adam don’t like this. We try to find the levers that control the fog. We learn the magic words, buy the fancy machines, try to herd the mist and shape it. We want to manage something that is by its very nature¬†unmanageable. We cling to hopes of making something permanent. But the fog swirls away no matter how many times we try to catch it. It melts in the sunrise, and all our work has accomplished nothing. Fog is fog. It is not ours to control.

But there is a God in the fog. He  is the one who made it. He is the one who directs its path, who decides how long it will last. We strive with all our might and fail to direct the least wisp. He guides it with no effort. He is the Lord of the fog.

The Lord of the Fog loves it. It is his creation, and he delights in its swirls and whirls, the way it thickens and fades. He placed us here in the fog, where we could see it and feel the cold, dank wet on our skin. Water in the air, and passing vapor. He brought us here and asked us to delight in it, as he does.

Why not? The passing fog is beautiful. It is worth walking in. It is worth getting lost in.

“But there is injustice!” we protest. We see things passing away that should not have passed away. They were too beautiful, and the things that supplanted them were dark and ugly. In our great wisdom, we have passed judgment on the fog and decided that it was not well managed.

But there is a Lord of the Fog, and one day he will cause the fog to lift. In the bright sunlight of everlasting day we will have to give an account for everything we did in the fog. And he will, in turn, reveal everything he did.

In that day, I want to say I enjoyed the fog– its every beauty in its proper moment. I want to have done nothing there in the murk of which I would be ashamed in the daylight. I want the Lord of the Fog to judge me and find me righteous. After all, I too have my proper place in the swirl of mists.

Here in the fog, all we can do is eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of our labor, even as it slips from our hands.

Here in the fog, all we can do is fear God and keep his commandments.

For this is man’s all.

And God will bring every work into judgment,
including every secret thing,
whether good or evil.