Surrounded by Fog. Seeds to Life, Part 8


Here is Grossglockner.  Where?

We only had one goal that morning: To visit Grossglockner. Rising to 3,797 meters (12,457 feet), Grossglockner is the highest peak in Austria, and the 10 kilometer (6 mile) long Pasterze Glacier at its base, covering an area of 19.5 square meters (7.6 square miles) is the largest glacier in the Eastern Alps. Both of these natural wonders can be found in Austria's Hohe Tauern National Park, and that was our destination.

The weather seemed nice enough at first, but once in the park, the fog set in. In fact, the higher we climbed with our car, the foggier it became, to the point that we could see absolutely nothing. Not even the road!

One of the stops along the narrow, windy road was supposed to be the Alpine Naturschau Museum. My wife noticed the sign indicating the turn off just as we were passing it, but there was absolutely no way we could tell just where the museum was located. My wife was sure it was down a little trail to the right, and I was sure that it didn't exist at all. (We later learned that we had both been wrong. It did, indeed, exist, but it was off the road to the left! Good thing we didn't go looking for it in that fog!)

After our friendly argument over the location of the museum, we crept onward, heading (we hoped!) for the viewing tower on Edelweiss-spitze. The visibility didn't improve, and my poor wife's knuckles were white from gripping the steering wheel so tightly.

Once at the pass, the fog cleared slightly, just enough for us to locate the viewing tower and the gift shop, but by the time we had parked the car, the fog was as thick as ever. Various viewing stands pointed out this and that mountain peak, including the invisible Grossglockner, but as far as we could tell, there weren't any mountains at all! Just a bunch of thick, soupy air. We took some quick photos anyway, imagining as we did to the following potential conversation:

"Here is our picture of Grossglockner."

"Where? I can't see anything!"

"It's right there in the fog!"

"You're joking, right?"

"I am not kidding!"

"Yeah, right!"

It reminded us a little of faith. Just because we can't see our miracle, we believe it isn't there. But just because we can't see it doesn't change the fact that it is there waiting for us!

At the gift shop at Edelweiss-Spitze we asked the store manager about the weather conditions throughout the park, and he gave us some discouraging news: "This system is moving off of the glacier, so it will just get thicker as you get closer. There's no way will you be able to see either the mountain or the glacier today! Your best bet is to come back tomorrow afternoon, when according to the latest weather predictions, it will clear up."

We were all a bit disappointed as we headed to our car. We decided to eat our picnic lunch in the car (it was about 8 C-a bit cold for an outdoor picnic!), and after prayer, we all felt complete inner peace and that all would turn out well. I was reminded of that day's morning devotional: "The mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace." (Rom 8:6 NIV)

Suddenly my younger son exclaimed, "Papa, look behind you! We can see the mountains!"

I turned around and sure enough the air seemed to have cleared a little. But how could it be possible when the weather specialist insisted that the weather would only get worse!

We quickly took some pictures, and then we decided to drive on towards the glacier and the highest mountain in Austria. Not only did we get pictures of Grossglockner, but also of the Pasterze Glacier which was supposedly creating all that fog! An impossibility according to human weather specialists!

If we had relied on humans, we would have missed this huge blessing. Human guides, after all, are often wrong. Instead we relied on God's most assured guide: His Holy Spirit, and He provided us with beauty that day!

The Holy Spirit is our second ally when making daily decisions. The Holy Spirit never contradicts His written Word, the Bible. After all, how could the author contradict Himself, especially if He is not human? He is the most reliable guide in this world and He will lead us "into all truth" if we depend solely on Him.

"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth." (John 16:13 NIV)

Surrounded by fog? Don't worry, and don't take the word of any human being. Let God's Spirit be your guide. He will lead you to the sunny glamour of His Truth.

Rob Chaffart

Pasterze Glacier

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