Along the coast of California during the month of June a foggy gloom arrives and settles in for a month-long sleepy summer nap. He tucks himself in between the horizon and the shoreline, obscuring the sun and the blue sky, sending beach goers back to their cars for extra blankets and sweatshirts. Those beach goers who live inland….where the sun and heat camp all summer….who are fooled into expecting that a glorious day at the beach awaits them upon arrival. For this reason I am a religious weather.com checker. When I spot a clear glowing sunshine icon on my weather app for any coastal town I am quick to pack up the car and head to the promised blue-skied destination.
But often the weather app is wrong. Somewhere a weather person has, to my utter frustration, inaccurately predicted and reported a false blue sky and crystal clear horizon. I have actually stood on the sand of a freezing foggy beach while looking at my weather app telling me that where I am standing is actually a clear sunny 70 degree day. I wonder how such blatant misreporting by the experts (or their expensive technologies that they rely upon) could happen when an entire set of weather obsessed people rely on them to operate in within their expertise. I wonder where they draw their information from because clearly I could more accurately report the weather than they! Would it be so hard to pay me, the actual beach goer, to do a better job?
I get that predicting the weather is not an exact science. I have had enough experiences in my life to know this and yet for some reason I am irritated every time at the forecast inaccuracies. Or maybe I am just irritated at my own gullible tendencies to trust humanity’s ability to predict a future that is always uncertain?
I am not a pessimistic person. But I do border along the lines of being realistic and hope-filled. Every foggy day I unexpectedly encounter continually reminds me that all that I actually know for certain is the moment I live in. I can make my plans, check the weather report, pack the car, head to my destination but once I “arrive” I may find that all I have is actually all that I had before that: just a bit of shoreline in front of me.
What a paradoxical place to be, you know? To surrender to a future that is never guaranteed, to accept the bit of sand in front of me, and yet continue to live my life with a hopeful, prayerful expectancy–one that involves making plans, following dreams, checking weather forecasts. I am pretty sure that somewhere in between is where my faith resides and grows. The kind of faith that trusts a God who gives me peace when all I have is the shoreline in front of me and hope that the horizon still exists even when the gloomy fog of life obscures it.