I was driving home alone to Tennessee from Michigan a couple of weeks ago. Spending 10 or so hours on the road always gives me plenty of time to sort through my thoughts, although I tend to discover more questions than answers, it seems.
On this particular trip, it was a sunny day, but was extremely windy. Maybe this is typical for Michigan and Ohio; who knows? But with the wind, came the clouds, moving briskly across the sky in an effort to keep pace with all the other clouds.
Therefore, on this day, my thoughts turned to the clouds.
Clouds. I guess they are as unique as we are. Fat clouds. Skinny clouds. Intimidating clouds. Fluffy pillow clouds. Transparent clouds. Angelic clouds. Eclipsing clouds. Shy clouds. Steamroller clouds that don't care who they run over. Clouds with a purpose. Clouds that like to wander. Clouds that follow the crowd. Popular clouds. Loner clouds. Clouds that go against the grain, going in the opposite direction of everyone else. Clouds that stay too long. Hopeful clouds. Threatening clouds. Triumphant clouds. Peaceful clouds. Peek-a-boo clouds. Goodnight clouds. Clouds that hint at trouble ahead.
My favorite would be the Told You So Clouds - the ones that serve as a curtain on a stage to introduce the power of the sun behind them. To me, these clouds prove that God was in control all along, even when we couldn't see what he was doing.
Clouds. I guess their purpose is to beckon us to look up every once in awhile.
It dawned on me (in about my fifth hour of isolation in the car), that the sky is a good representation of our lives. We pray for it to be perfect and without trouble. But, occasionally our horizon is filled with clouds. During these times, it's difficult to see things clearly, and we long to go back to the time before the clouds arrived.
After all, don't we all want 'nothin' but blue skies?'
But when all is said and done, and trouble has come and gone, we realize that the clouds served as the perfect way to reflect the sunlight. Or rather, Son-light.
Oh. Now I get it - which makes me oh so thankful for the clouds, and the reminder to look up every once in awhile.
For it is there that I will truly find my answers.
Janet Morris Grimes, the author The Parent's Guide to Uncluttering Your Home, released in 2011. She launched Abbandoned Ministries to lead others to seek God, as Abba, during abandonment. For more information, visit http://janetmorrisgrimes.com or http://abbandondoned.com.