The brilliant reds and golds of the fall trees shimmered on the lake’s deep blue surface – a perfect morning for fishing! Dad and I happily climbed into the boat and pushed off, but as we headed to our favorite spot the wind shifted. In less than five minutes we were cloaked in fog as thick as the proverbial pea soup. Now the only color all around was gray.
As the dense shroud settled in, we knew that when the wind shifted again and the sun rose higher, the fog would lift. Eventually. But for now, the temporary disorientation of a misty morning on a fishing lake provided a vivid metaphor for contemplating how we respond during those times when a mental shroud of confusion, panic, pain, or grief may roll over us. It can seem as if we just can’t see anything but that “cloud.”
There’s a passage in the Bible that describes this, in a way: “But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground” (Genesis 2:6). From there, the book of Genesis goes on to describe a muddled view of creation in which man is described as being made from dust, easily tempted, and ultimately cursed – seemingly trapped forever in the haze of a mortal perspective.
However, the first chapter of Genesis paints a very different picture: Man is clearly defined in relation to God as God’s likeness. The Bible also says that God is Spirit, so all of us as the creation of the Divine must be spiritual, not material. In an explanation of Genesis, Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, wrote: “Immortal and divine Mind presents the idea of God: first, in light; second, in reflection; third, in spiritual and immortal forms of beauty and goodness. But this Mind creates no element nor symbol of discord and decay” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 503).
To me, trying to define from a mortal basis what’s spiritually true is a lot like attempting to navigate a boat in a fog. A misty, mortal view of life obscures what’s really true. It would insist that evil can cause us to run aground at some point.
However, I find in Christ Jesus’ teachings a beacon for steering through mental fog of any kind. He always stood firm, never underestimating the power of divine light to guide and heal. He said, “When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:… and he will shew you things to come” (John 16:13). His unparalleled healing ministry and example endure today as proofs of the practicality of that guiding divine Spirit – which is still available to all of us, at all times.
Viewing the total “beauty and goodness” of God’s creation in the clear, spiritual light of Christ – the divine perspective of being that Jesus clearly saw and expressed – we discover that whatever would muddle or obscure is not the spiritual reality. Our true nature is always whole and pure. We can stand for beauty, goodness, and light with confidence and fearlessness. And as we come to realize this is our reality, we experience more of those qualities in our lives.
That morning on the water, thinking about some of these ideas, I literally stood up in the boat. As I did, my head emerged above the fog, and I could see everything around us clearly, including the landmarks on the opposite shore near our fishing spot. We turned the boat around, headed over, and enjoyed the morning as the fog lifted and sunlight flooded over us.
We never need to accept some clouded picture of anger, disease, or frustration as legitimate or permanent. These have never been part of God’s universe or our individual place within it. And when we embrace the healing, guiding light of God, divine Love, that reveals what we truly are as God’s children, those clouds begin to dissolve – just like the fog.