This morning I went on a walk in a fog so dense my eyes had to stay focused on the path, lest I veer off course. Miniscule droplets of water obscured my vision, forcing me to concentrate on each measured step. I realized that usually I don’t even consider the miracle of my sight, my legs, my balance, but today I was mindful of it all.
The heaviness hugged me – not in a comfortable way, but claustrophobic. I was kind of panicky because it was still dark outside. I have walked that path before, but the disorienting view trapped me.
I knew I would emerge from the wilderness (paved walking path), would eventually see my van parked in front of the YMCA. But I had to think about the fog in my life. Sometimes it forms from busyness. Meaningless and endless details snare me. I get caught and wonder when I’ll be free.
Other times, it’s the simple blues that can clog up my reality. Yet, sometimes the fog is deeper than a bad mood. Weightiness sets in and clouds everything with depression. No more do the details rule, but instead they are lost and neglected. In that suffocation, I also wonder when I’ll be free.
But as I stepped deliberately on my walk this morning, so I step through each day.
Getting through an expedition, a voyage, an experience is much simpler if we know where it will end. But typically, in life, we meander at best, dodging obstacles on occasion. We set out on what we anticipate will be straight progress and are thwarted by ourselves, others, even the will of God.
Someone in our community took his life a few days ago. Makes me sick. And scared. So many people get lost in their fog. Maybe they forget to just take the next step. One step.
One step. They fear where the road leads.
“That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end. The fog is like a cage without a key.” Elizabeth Wurtzel
But all we are asked to do is walk. One step at a time. Rather than an interference, a gift. The fog can be accepted as a gift that teaches us to rely on God to direct the journey. I embrace my blindness.
“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps” (Proverbs 16:9 NLT).