lessons learned: foggy mornings and slowing down

This morning I am reposting from April 2012 as it seemed appropriate–foggy morning, busy morning, and this time, I am appreciating the lesson learned.

It is not the clear-sighted who rule the world. Great achievements are accomplished in a blessed, warm fog.

~Joseph Conrad

This morning on the way to school, we came upon a patch of low lying fog.  It wasn’t the kind of fog that whispers in the trees, but a thick soup of condensation that surprised us as we rounded a blind curve.  As you can imagine, it took us all by surprise, and I tapped on the brakes to slow down a bit.

You see, I knew what was coming ahead was a small bridge that is barely wide enough for two cars.  Usually, I just slow down and share the road as I travel across, but on school mornings filled with late teenagers and type-A professionals, I usually stop and give right of way to motorists zooming toward me.

This morning, however, I could see nothing, and I will admit, my hands clenched the steering wheel a bit.  I inched forward hoping that what lay ahead wouldn’t blindside me.  A car from the other direction quickly approached the bridge.  Normally, I might have moved forward, but today, I waited and thankfully so.  As it flew around the curve into toward the structure, it had to swerve over the line on the bridge to maintain it’s place on the road.  Slowing down in the fog had given me the opportunity to assess what might happen and be safe.

As I sat there a moment, feeling thankful, I began thinking about how my life is when I feel like I’m “in a fog.”  I can’t see clearly, I get anxious about what’s ahead, and I forget to trust what I know to be true–the bridge is short, the fog will clear, and I will see the light of day again.  I seem to inch along though, just hoping that I make it to the other side.

The benefit of fog, however, is that it slows us down.  It surrounds us.  It encourages us to stop and think, “Why and I here, where am I going, and how do I get there?”  It does create a bit of uncertainty, but it also opens us up to possibility and provides us with hindsight.   Being in a fog creates and opportunity for discernment and perhaps, offers us a time to be in the “waiting place”-serving as an opportunity to stop and catch our breaths then make intentional choices.

And yes, we did make it over the bridge safely.  As we turned the corner to head down the next road, the sun shone brightly through the newly blossoming trees, reminding me that the fog always opens up to a newly lit path.

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2 responses

  1. Pingback: Foggy Foggy Morning « bridgesburning

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