"Fog" (as I define it today) is all the stuff that makes it tough to see clearly in our lives: trials, busy schedules, health issues, financial concerns, broken relationships, etc. Sometimes the "fog" can get so heavy that it becomes almost impossible to move. I'm sure you've been there (or maybe even ARE there as you read this).
To be sure, there was plenty of "fog" in Guatemala; not just rolling off of the mountains in the early morning and late evening, but in the things that challenged us:
- Totally different climate (resulting in numerous sunburns & heat exhaustion)
- Totally different food (making several ill for several days)
- Incredibly perilous daily journeys through the mountains to our ministry destinations (try getting 2 10' wide vehicles side-by-side on an 18' wide road!)
- Language barriers (not just Spanish, but mountain dialects as well)
- Lack of sleep (dogs, roosters, people and strange beds all contributing)
That's enough to "fog" anyone in...but it didn't. In fact, just the opposite. I believe that those who participated in this great work see more clearly than they have in a long time. If you've ever done something like this trip, you know exactly what I mean. Some of the things that are more clear than ever are:
- We have no idea of how good we have it here in the U.S. with freedom of choice, opportunities to learn and an incredible number of conveniences
- We have no idea of how far we've drifted from God here in the U.S., choosing to make Him into just about anything that pleases us
- We have, by and large, lost sight of the joy of a simpler life here in the U.S., a life that focuses on serving, helping and caring for others
- We have discarded, by and large in the U.S., the joy of family working and growing together: sharing meals, time, dreams and life
Now, you might think, "That's easy for you to say, being in another country - it's so different there!" Granted, it IS different there, but it's different by choice. There's not a one of us that has to be as busy, involved or immersed as we are. I believe that more often than not, we choose to live like this because we are trying to fill some need in our life that only God can fill. We are convinced that if we just do more, we'll feel or experience something that will satisfy us...but we're wrong.
One theologian of old put it this way, "Our hearts are restless until we find our rest in Thee." And I can tell you for certain that though there were many reasons to feel "fogged in" while in Guatemala (600+ pairs of shoes distributed, 2 houses completely constructed, 550 salvation bracelets given out at 4 remote sites...on top of the previously mentioned potential obstacles), we are seeing more clearly than ever, and are choosing to still our restless hearts in the One who can...and does...calm the storm. We're choosing to live our lives differently here and recapture how God intended our lives to be.
What's really great, is that you don't have to go overseas to discover this. If you'll take a breather today and seek God Almighty, He will begin to remove your "fog" as well, help you see clearly, balance your life and hear His approving words of "Well done, good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of your Master's happiness" (Matthew 25).
I'd love to hear from you, either via a response here, or at my email of firstname.lastname@example.org. If you'd like to see any of the Guatemala footage, get on Facebook, search for me (we can become "Friends") and it will all be available to you!