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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fog

Shaw Island Classic in the haze


When you wake from sleep to a long muffled ferry horn blast, raise your head up off the pillow to look out the window and can’t see beyond the patio stone, it is fog.
Fog lay out over the land and sea as we packed our car to take our guests to the early morning ferry. The field came into sight before we left, and as we passed the bay to the ferry, the grey dissipated to reveal hazy boat shapes silently sitting it out. The skies cleared in time for the ferry to arrive, load and take off and in time for the two annual races around Shaw, the Round Shaw Row and the Shaw Island Classic.

Our guests came to conduct an important Friday night meeting and I cooked up some of the salmon caught last week for dinner. The meeting was a gathering of our community of believers to call a pastor and begin a church. Many, including myself, have been praying for this for over 25 years.

Sometimes the fog comes without warning of a ferry boat blast. It is then that years of fog become such a way of life you don’t realize it could be different. In a book I have been reading, Heaven1, there is a reference to Florence Chadwick in 1952 who tried to swim between Catalina Island and the California mainland. It was a cold and foggy day and she swam for fifteen hours before giving up, just a half mile from her destination. “All I could see was the fog…I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.” Fog is like waiting on the Lord. You pray, and it seems nothing happens. Only when the fog lifts do you see what clouded eyes obstruct.

The fog lifted enough to see the Lord had indeed brought a pastor in our midst. But the fog covered once again when we realized the impossibility of calling a pastor without a church structure and with such a diversity of opinions and desires in our group. But God is a God of the impossible, always working behind the scenes, desiring this more than us. The meeting was clouded, with everyone having a say, and at the very end many had given up hope, amongst confusion and frustration. Several, however, in faith, were quietly praying and claiming God’s faithfulness and Christ’s desire to build the church, believing “we would see the glory of God.”2 The cloud lifted and by a miracle of God, His Holy Spirit unity prevailed, the sun came out and we called a pastor for this new church on our island.

I hope that in this new beginning, as we awake each day, we recognize the fog covering, keep our eyes on the shore, and trust God. Learning from Shaw race participants, and Florence Chadwick, we will to continue to press on.. “…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”3

Heaven, Randy Alcorn, Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 2004, page xx
John 11:40
Hebrews 12:1,2

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