Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A Break in the Clouds

I had a dream years ago that Joel and I were driving in a car on the highway. Suddenly and systematically, dark clouds gathered, becoming one huge cloud, and rain began to pour down. We couldn’t see anything. I remember panicking, thinking, “We are driving really fast, but we can’t see where we are going!”

I was afraid and helpless. But just as that thought materialized, I noticed a small break in the clouds up ahead. It was further ahead, not right in front of us, and it allowed us to see that the road was going to bend up ahead. The road was elevated and there were trees on either side, so that if we hadn’t seen this bend, we could have driven off the road and fallen down a forested cliff. That small break in the clouds was all we needed to steer and drive through this blinding storm.

The dream awakened me with a jolt, and I have often wondered what it meant.

If our lives are a highway (and we’re going to drive it all night long), and we can’t see the future or where we will end up, all we really need is a small glimpse in the distance to keep us on track. It’s all we need.

I sometimes feel that I’ve come to the point in my life where I need to steer. Do you know what I mean? As teenagers and young adults, life happens and you can make not-so-great decisions in the name of naïveté or simply not needing to accomplish specifics yet.  You have your whole life ahead of you; you have years and years to live and react to circumstances and have fun and make mistakes. But eventually you find yourself in this middle stage, where you’ve done all of that, which is completely OK, but if you actually want to accomplish certain things, you need to start focusing on specifics. You need to steer in one direction or another. You can still “dream,” but it’s harder to “do.”

To anyone who has found themselves wondering in desperation, 

“What should I do? Who should I be? Why am I here? What should I focus on? What should I let go of? I’m driving, but I can’t see, and I don’t know where I am going or where I’m supposed to go!” 

 just know that while we don’t know what is going to happen on the other side of this moment, God will always show you enough so that you can steer in the right direction. There will always be a glimpse available to you to help you make the right decisions for you and your family. This glimpse or break in the clouds could be anything from a passion that lights you up, a sense of urgency for something that you can’t shake, a dream that gives you a sense of purpose, a goal that resonates in your soul, a thought that breaks your concentration, a sign that keeps popping up. It might be a person that enters or re-enters your life, an idea that glows inside you like a lightbulb and won’t be extinguished, a reminder of something you notice when looking at an old photo. The glimpse might become clear while you are alone, deep in thought, in prayer, or in conversation. It might be something your kid says or do, or something the grocery store cashier says, or something you observe. 

Once you see that glimpse, all the fear and panicky feelings will fall away. That break in the clouds will give you a feeling of peace and purpose. 

Keep moving, keep living and breathing, keep driving. You will always get to where you need to go. Believe that there will always be a break in the clouds, especially during the storms that seem to blind you. It’s all you need.