Well, the world sure looks different on a foggy morning. In our neighborhood the neighbor’s houses suddenly aren’t there. There’s a hill I can usually see out the back door. On a foggy morning – no hill. And on the highway, forget it! I mean, it’s suddenly hard to find out where you turn or to plan much beyond the car immediately in front of you.
I remember this 40-car pile-up on a foggy morning on one of the major highways near us. The pile-up happened because people couldn’t see what the car in front of them was doing. Now, on those foggy mornings it looks as if the world’s going to be gray all day doesn’t it? It’s kind of depressing, you know? That’s no way to start the day, but that fog seldom lasts past 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning. Why? Well, the fog developed over night when there was no sun out to warm the air and evaporate all that moisture. Sometimes when the fog gets thick, well let’s face it, we just lose sight of the sun.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “How To Burn Off Your Personal Fog.”
There are three facets of Jesus that His followers should be known for, and they’re all mentioned in our word for today from the Word of God in Colossians 3:15-17 – “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Now, notice here it talks about the fact that you and I should be known by the peace of Christ in our relationships, by the word of Christ in our attempts to minister to people, and by the name of Christ in everything we do. So, we’re to be characterized by Jesus’ peace, Jesus’ words, and Jesus’ uniform everywhere we are. That peace especially appeals to me – the peace of Christ.
Did you notice that each involve the same ingredient? They all involve saying, “Thank you” and not just on Thanksgiving. With the peace of Christ, the word of Christ, and the name of Christ, there’s a thank you emphasis. I wonder if we were to play back recordings of you or me in recent weeks, would they sound a little more negative? Maybe there’s a pessimistic tone there; a tone of criticism or complaining, negativity. Hey, the fog’s rolling in and everything is looking gray to you.
I can describe it because I’ve felt it. Maybe the fog is winning right now. What you need, of course, is the sun, and the sun that burns off the fog of pessimism and negativism is called (ready?) giving thanks. That means you make a decision to focus today on what is rather than what isn’t; what you have rather than what you don’t have. To focus on what God has been doing in your life; to concentrate on answered prayer rather than on the not yet answered prayer. To go through your day on a God-hunt, looking for where He is, where He’s working in your life. If you look for Him, you’ll see Him all over the place.
Paul and Silas could sing at midnight in a prison because they were praising and giving thanks. You can sing at midnight. You can give thanks in the fog.
When I stop living gratefully, a dark gray attitude starts to blanket my soul – the spiritual blahs. But the fog doesn’t ever have to last long. A thank you mindset is the sun that burns off your personal fog.