Have you ever driven through really thick fog? The kind where you align the front of your car with the white lines and proceed with caution. It doesn’t take long before any sense of direction that you had has evaporated and you really have no idea where you are heading. I am told that fog in Scotland can be so severe and arrive so rapidly that experienced hikers can become thoroughly disoriented and walk off the side of mountains.
I know there is an analogy about how life can be like that at times. When you have no idea which direction your life is heading, you have no idea which way is up, you have no idea how to navigate the twists and turns in the road. And it isn’t pleasant, in fact it can be distinctly unpleasant.
Another analogy that a friend shared with me was of him sitting in a boat on a large sea with no means of steering. He felt like he was being blown around through each day and he couldn’t steer, even if he had any clue where he wanted to steer to. Not good.
Let me tell you of one more similar analogy that happened to me in real life. In modern times we don’t often get to experience true darkness. Even on the darkest of nights near our modern cities there is still enough lots of light around to know where obstacles are. I was in an underground mine once and was sitting waiting for someone to come and collect me from the work site. As an experiment I turned off my lamp.(Something that you are not meant to do, but, hey, I was bored). After a half hour or so of my eyes acclimatising, I realised that I could not see ANYTHING, I was not even aware of the hand at the end of my arm. Now that was a whole lot more disorienting that walking or driving in fog, believe me.
I guess for me, my spiritual experience is something that keeps me out of the true darkness. It is a spiritual and moral compass, it is a guiding light of sorts. That doesn’t mean that at times it doesn’t get a bit foggy or you feel like you are being steered rather than doing the steering. But to me it is infinitely better to have that eternal assurance than to do battle with the complete unknown.