Imagine you are in a foxhole. You are a soldier – which, indeed you are – and there is danger all around you. The foxhole has been your home for some time now. It is all you know. The darkness, which gives you some sense of security and reassurance. Then there is the smell of all the other soldiers all over the foxhole. Actually it is the stench of bodies from the humidity, sweat and smoke ,even spray and deodorant intended to neutralize the stench.
But then, it is your home – for now. It is all you know. You recognize the walls, the dead silence that must be maintained. And you also know that it is a prison. There is no freedom in the foxhole in spite of the sense of security. There is no real light, not even the occasional daylight every twelve or so hours.
You know too, and you can even glimpse it if you raise your head a little above the ground, that there is freedom across the bridge, only a hundred yards from the foxhole. But the bridge is not visible because it is covered by a white fog – yes, fog is always white – which spreads along the river valley. -You cannot be sure of what dangers lie ahead.
So, dash for the fog-covered bridge or “enjoy” the comfort of the foxhole?
Thoughts like these make me reflect on a prayer first written by Eric Milner-White (1884-1963), an Anglican clergyman in his book, “Daily Prayer” (1941, 1959) and now widely used by various churches and groups. Here is the prayer: Lord God; you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.