Ode to the Mist

by DanWolgemuth on November 30, 2012

          For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. ~James 4:14b (ESV)

A mist. Prone to vanish. A little time.

Through the July sunshine I sensed the vanishing mist. As I crouched over the motionless and crushed body of my wife, I wrestled with the sunshine that seemed at that very moment to be challenging the mist.

Predictability gave way to the fragile reality that life and breath and heartbeats are finite. They are beyond my control.

I pled for the mist to return. I begged the sunshine to delay it’s arrival. Not now. Not yet.

Soft breezes threatened to press the mist into glory…

I pled, not for the mist, but for me. I knew that I was begging the mist to stay in the midst of the wilderness, even as eternity beaconed.

I had no deal to cut, no trade to offer.

I begged. Earnestly. Honestly. Selfishly.

Please God. Please God.

A mist is real, it’s evident, it’s impactful, and yes, it’s ever so temporary. It hangs even as it submits. To the sunshine. To the wind. To the greatness of what dispatches it.

I didn’t argue with this reality, I simply whispered for more time, for more todays and more tomorrows.

The sunshine wasn’t punishment, it was perfection… but I didn’t feel ready.

I know there are thousands that pray this prayer, thousands for whom the sunshine and breeze do not relent. Thousands that must wake tomorrow without the mist, without the comfort of companionship. Thousands of good and Godly people who pled and begged.

I carry no pretense. There is no arrogance in the outcome. Just increased compassion for the mistless and exploding gratitude for the reprieve.

In a Thanksgiving retrospective… this ode. This reflection. This reality check. This lesson.

We are what God has declared. Here today, gone tomorrow. A mist on its way to eternity. Finite.

Mist knows what it is… mist knows what it can be… mist lives in complete submission – to a good and honorable and sovereign God. It was to Him that I pled. To Him that I begged. To Him that I live as a steward.

I know now, as never before, that it is impossible to cling to the mist. It is wonderful in its presence, but it is temporary in this calling.

I am wiser, even as I am more thankful, more compassionate, more humble… and more aware of the amazing, beautiful, vanishing mist.

This reality changes everything. It has changed me… even as I live more fully as what I am… a mist.

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