I don't have any pretzels.
It's an old line from a Seinfeld episode, but I say it (albeit sometimes to myself) on all kinds of occasions when what I really mean is, "This Walmart is on my last nerve!" or "This doofus who slammed on his brakes for the gillionth time just might make me lose my salvation!" But today what I mean is, "This fog is making me crazy!"
I hate fog. It makes my world too small. It creeps in and covers the sun and the sky and shrinks the awesome height of the outdoors like one of those horrid acoustical drop-in ceilings. I can't see what I'm accustomed to seeing. I can't enjoy what I love.
And fog has no real redeeming qualities. Rain and snow aren't my favorite, but at least they bring needed precipitation. Fog's only purpose seems to be to hide and obscure the really awesome stuff.
I hate that fog has power over my emotions, too. I won't go as far as to say it controls me, but after a few days of it, I find myself discouraged, lethargic, sad.
Sometimes I look at my spiritual life and I recognize signs that a fog has settled. My world feels smaller, my problems seem bigger. Hope, like sunshine, is hidden from my eyes. I feel spiritually like I'm wading through a sea of molasses - my prayers are unfocused, my emotions flat. I'm tired out before I even start the day.
But I'm called to be a person of faith, and I need to remind myself over and over that the sun is still up there, even though it's temporarily hidden from my view. Why God chooses faith over works is a mystery to me. I can work up a storm! I love to make lists of good things to do and check them off one by one! Wouldn't God love for me to just visit all of those shut-ins and lead that bible study and put away my elderly neighbor's trash cans?? Why aren't these things-I-do earning me brownie points of God's favor? It seems like after a certain point, I could be on a maintenance plan of say, three good works per week. This would be good PR for God, in my opinion!
But God isn't interested in any kind of earned favor. It would be easier for me, yes. But it would not make me closer to Him. He loves relationship. I love religion. So it turns out my world IS too small. And fog is God's way of saying, "See? You're not happiest when you're running the show. Every once in awhile I have to remind you that my thoughts are higher than your thoughts, and my ways are higher than your ways. And that's what makes them beautiful!"
So in the waning, foggy hours of today, I will thank my God for the sun I can't see but I know is there. I will praise Him for fulfilling all of His promises to me, even the ones which I haven't experienced yet. I will receive the joy and the hope that is mine no matter what the weather or the circumstances of my life look like. It's dreary outside, but there is sunshine in my soul! :)