Helen Keller compared her life to a ship in a dark fog. Life was a random assembly of meaningless forms. It didn’t matter if she bumped into a table or a chair. To her, they could be the same. One day her teacher, Annie, gave her a doll. That afternoon out of frustration she threw the doll to the floor and it broke. Since nothing else in life meant anything to her, the doll was no different. She wasn’t sad or sorry for what she had done by any stretch of the imagination. Finally, the day came that she realized that everything had a name. She then understood what the doll had been and quickly felt her way to where the broken pieces lay on the floor. She tried vainly to put them back together. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she comprehended what she had done.
As young people growing up in a Christian environment, we can see a connection here between the metaphor of the ship in fog and our walk with Christ. Our nominal Christian experience is random and meaningless. God is a foreign idea to us. Pastors tell us about Him every week at church. But once frustrated, we throw Him to the floor and run off to do whatever we want. Since God doesn’t mean anything to us, we aren’t sorry or sad. Finally, the day comes when we truly understand what our attitude and actions have pushed us away from. We quickly try to put our broken lives back together but realize sadly that no one can gain back the time that has been lost. Tears roll down our cheeks as we realize what we have done and all the ways He and others have been hurt by our carelessness. Then we truly see our need and become excited about every new symbol we decode in the Bible and every sermon we hear at church. This is when we break out of our fog and finally love God for real.