©Joy Dunlap https://joydunlap.com
Dense fog prevented us from stopping at an anticipated port call on our Great Lakes cruise. This was one of those times when the decision wasn’t even questionable. After hearing the captain announce that we couldn’t go ashore, we opened the blinds only to see nothing but a grayish fog.
No beautiful blue water. No lush green land at a distance. Nothing but nothingness.
We couldn’t see through the fog.
Maybe you’ve had a day like that. Perhaps that’s even today.
You know the beauty is out there. Enjoyment is out there. Sunlight is somewhere.
But from where you are, everything is cloudy, overcast, and full of fog. Thick clouds have taken up residence in your mind and even your heart, and all you can visualize is the gray veil that blocks out what you’d hoped would be there.
You can’t see how you can get to where you need to go. The clouds are too pervasive.
But another day, another place, another possibility is coming. Believe it. Keep listening. Keep trusting.
Our captain let us know he had to take us someplace else. In this case it was to cross Lake Superior and traverse the Soo Locks a day earlier than planned. There the water levels would adjust, and we’d move from Lake Superior into Lake Huron.
As the captain piloted us out of that dense fog and we trusted him to take us forward to safer sailing, we began to experience more sunshine.
Unexpectedly we shifted from a planned shore day of exploring to a “sea” day on our ship. Entertainment options and extra learning lectures were added for the day. (Aren’t we often learning lessons when we get diverted in life?)
To make the most of it, we explored the incredible new ship we were on – and discovered several amazing features we hadn’t yet seen. A specialty tour of the hangar down below even revealed two submarines (yes – really!), zodiacs, kayaks and other items that were stored there.
In life, we may at times have to go deep into where we are – and who we are – and who God is – to discover the hidden resources that are available.
Being thrust into a new situation, or disappointing and difficult circumstances, can cause us to seek the positives about where we are and Who we’re sailing with – outside of the clamor of constant busyness. But it’s up to us to do the seeking.
When we got word that the captain and crew had arranged for a different locale to replace the one we were blocked from experiencing, it was a bonus and we were even more grateful.
So that’s how I ended up climbing 130 iron spiral steps to climb out onto the catwalk of The “New” Presque Isle Lighthouse built in 1870. Round and round I went, each step taking me higher and higher, closer to the top. Climbing the tallest lighthouse tower in the Great Lakes that’s available for public climbing hadn’t been in my plan but that’s where I ended up.
The part of the journey that started with intense fog blocking where I had planned to go ended up with a view and experience that was far better.
It’s important to consider that it took a while to get there. First our port call got cancelled due to dense fog, then the captain sailed us across Lake Superior. A mechanical difficulty stalled and delayed us before we could traverse the locks and move into Lake Huron. Once we arrived near Alpena, MI, we had to take a 30-minute small boat ride on choppy seas to get to the shore, followed by a 40-minute bus ride.
Then we arrived at the lighthouse.
The views at the top were worth every sailed mile and every spiral step!
Whenever we can’t see in front of us for the dense fog, we can always trust our ever faithful, omnipresent Captain – our Lord – to guide us where he wants us to go.
Our course may change. We may encounter rough and stormy circumstances and times when dense fog in our lives and minds make it difficult to see where to go and how to get there.
When we’re in the fog, the best thing to do is keep heading toward the Light.
As we trust in God’s faithfulness, listen to God’s guidance, and explore and embrace discovery and joy where we are, the fog fades away and we experience more and more of the Light.
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 1 John 1:5-6 NIV
- Which lighthouse, if any, is one you particularly recall? Or when do you remember driving or being in dense fog?
- What in your life seems foggy or what is making it difficult to see ahead at this time?
- When is a time you’ve experienced God’s light during a dark and difficult time?
- In what ways can you embrace and experience joy where you are in life right now?
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 NIV
Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™