June 28th, 2016


“Faith is the complete reliance on the power and goodness of Spirit and the firm belief that you are always connected to this goodness.” Wayne Dyer

I am a visual learner, which means I process information through my sense of sight. Show me a map directing me to a location and I’ll get there nine times out of ten. Give me the same information verbally and I’ll be hopelessly lost. So when fog sets in while boating among the islands, archipelagos, and straights in British Columbia and Alaska, I am somewhat out of my element. It’s an eerie feeling to see a boat, rock, or shoreline glowing red on the radar screen while misty clouds hang thick and opaque outside the pilothouse window obscuring my view. Once we motored side-by-side with a 40-foot Nordic tugboat less than fifty yards away while chatting on the radio yet never saw one another with our naked eye. My intuitive sense of where we were located in space was useless and I had to trust the instruments were accurate as I kept a watchful eye on the navigation screens. With fog there can be no visual confirmation of where I am in comparison with the charts. It’s a bit like driving in a blizzard, only able to see a few feet ahead. I noticed my shoulders tensed slightly as I became more alert and vigilant in the unsettling conditions.

Learning to trust something other than my go-to ways of navigating is challenging, and not just in boating, pushing me beyond my comfort zone. When it comes to weather, I have no choice in the matter other than to adjust to the conditions. I like knowing what is in front of me, so when I can’t see I feel out of control, vulnerable and a bit exposed. What’s interesting though is that even when I can see it doesn’t really mean I’m in control, it just feels like I am. The fog reminds me of this reality and forces me to trust and be guided by something other than myself, in this case the instruments. It is a lot like life in general. When encountering a foggy patch and I am confused about the right next move, what choice to make, or where I’m headed I can isolate trying to figure out a solution on my own as a way to protect myself and keep my pride in tact, or I can humbly choose to admit my limitations and receive assistance and guidance from God, a mentor, or a wise friend who can help me see more clearly. It means being willing to be vulnerable which is scary but it usually pays off. What keeps me in the fog is my illusion of complete self-reliance, a crazy belief that I should always know the right thing to do. So when fog rolls around, as it surely will from time-to-time, I can relax and trust that guidance is always available to me if I’m willing to ask.

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