In my military days, I was trained during a time when our focus was primarily on jungle warfare. We prepared for battles to be fought on foot in the jungle or dense vegetation as opposed to the desert and mountains of today’s modern battlefield. Navigation in those environments was difficult, but nearly impossible when darkness fell or thick fog rolled in. However, we were trained to navigate through times of limited or no visibility. Often times in Europe, we struggled with darkness throughout the night and dense fog throughout the day that led to extended periods of time with no visibility. Like a pilot who has instruments to help him take off, land and navigate his airplane through the fog, we too had principles that would help us navigate during those blinding periods of time.
I’m amazed at how our lives can be moving along so well and suddenly darkness falls or a dense fog rolls in. Perhaps you have limited visibility right now. We all face these periods in our lives. Sometimes it’s a little foggy and other times it is down right pitch black darkness. Our fog takes on different meanings to different people. Sometimes it’s trying to find vision and direction in life or wisdom for a critical business decision. Other times it might be relationship struggles or depression. Although our fog takes on different meanings, one thing is certain; we will all find ourselves trying to navigate through it, not once, but several times throughout the course of our lives.
How do I navigate through the fog? The principle is this: When you find yourself in the confusion of the darkness or fog, stay close to the things that are sure in your life.
1. Stay close to the plan you had before the fog rolled in. (Note: This can be a life plan, a business plan or a vision plan) Sometimes the plan needs to change, but more often than not there are other factors causing the confusion rather than the plan itself. In other words, don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Review the plan carefully and discern whether or not the plan has taken your eyes off of the vision. If the plan is leading in the wrong direction it needs to change. However, if the plan points to the overall vision then stay on course. Something else is happening but you are likely to still be moving in the right direction.
2. Stay close to people that know you well. Withdrawal is NOT the way to “find yourself” in most cases. This is not to say that some time in solitude and meditation is not beneficial; in fact it is. The people that are closest to you know you better than you think. Let them help you navigate the way. They will encourage you and walk with you until the fog begins to clear. This is the time when you need to stop talking and LISTEN for God to speak through the people that have your ear.
3. Stay close to God and His word. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Sometimes it’s our distance from God that creates the fog in the first place. Stay close to God and His word and listen for that still small voice to speak through worship, prayer and meditation on His word. His word is a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path.
In the jungle fog and darkness can be a great hindrance, but it can also slow you down enough to keep you from making huge mistakes and inadvertently expose you to the enemy. Don’t fight so hard against the fog. Rather, embrace what’s happening and look for the message God is trying to send you. It could perhaps be the very thing that you need most.
If you stay close to your plan; close to the people who know you well; and, close to God and His word, you can be confident that when the fog clears, you will have navigated your way one step closer to God’s best for your life.
Keep REACHING FORWARD…even in the fog!