Fog and Free Will

I picked up a work gig for the second half of summer, driving a shuttle van for tourists. These visitors pay for the fulfillment of bucket list items: flying in a helicopter, speeding on an airboat in a fjord, walking on a glacier. It’s been fun, meeting people from all over the world. They ask questions about Juneau and Alaska, and I do my best to respond with at least nearly correct answers. On good days (depending on how you look at it) it means long days for me. And east-coasters are good tippers.

But, helicopters do not fly when the pilots cannot see. Rain and wind are not the problems, but fog is the nemesis, the buzzkill, the enemy of all things fun for adventure-seeking tourists, and the vendors who provide those adventures.

This week the fog has been in control; sometimes in the mornings, sometimes all day. All of “us” in the tourism business here in SE Alaska are busy checking weather forecasts and making friends with the NOAA forecasters. (I already have my inside sources.)

Juneau FogWhen we don’t fly, we disappoint tourists. And vendors (including my bosses) go unpaid. Vendors work hard. The profit margin for the vendors is slim; profits may not be actualized until season’s end. And someone asked me, “How does free will relate to bad weather?”

Interesting question. Caught me off-guard. Didn’t have a thorough or even trite response to offer. But, in the fog-bound time since, I’ve pondered the question, which I think may be more akin to “Where is God in this bad weather?”

First ponder point: God controls the weather. He invented weather, so it is His to control. He controls it all the time. Mankind gets no vote in the matter.

Next ponder point: Everything God thinks and does is good…and right…and perfect. We humans still want to pretend we control our lives, therefore we want to play judge and jury, even over the God who made us. We want God to play by our rules. It takes faith, serious, trusting faith, to believe that everything God does is good and right and perfect, when our circumstances or unmet desires may not seem to agree.

Final ponder point: God always has a plan. His plan is always a better plan for us than any of us could conceive or contrive. He is a good father in that way; He gives us what we need, instead of just what we think we want. Sometimes children need their father to help them eventually desire better. He wants us to desire relationship with Him.

It. Could.Be. that God wants us to trust him, rather than the weather forecast, rather than the days’s count of paying tourists seat-belted into helicopters, rather than the number of work hours and tips I can hope to add to the ledger.

It may be that God rolled the fog in this week so I would have more time to contemplate and appreciate God’s greater purposes, that His intentions for me are greater than my own, that my trust in Him would learn to outweigh my interest in more driving hours and tips from east-coasters. I may have some measure of free will, but God controls the fog.

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