Sunday, May 08, 2005

Catch the Wind

Consider the difference between piloting a motorboat and a sailboat. We can run a motorboat all by ourselves. We can fill the tank and start the engine. We are in control. But a sailboat is a different story. We can hoist the sails and steer the rudder, but we are utterly dependent on the wind. The wind does the work. If the wind doesn’t blow – and sometimes it doesn’t – we sit still in the water no matter how frantic we act.
Our task is to do whatever enables us to catch the wind.
Personal transformation is ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life. Jesus said,
“The wind blows where it chooses and you hear the sound of it,
but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.
So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
(John 3:8)

Several months ago on vacation I set went windsurfing. It was a perfect day for it, the sun was shining and the wind was blowing great. There was only one problem, I had little idea what I was doing! I knew the various elements of windsurfing -- wind theory, turning the sail, etc etc. I was ready to catch the waves. I paddled myself a little ways out from shore. Then I mounted up on the board and began to pull the sail out of the water. After several tugs and a couple of times falling straight back into the water off balance, I had the sail up.

There were several other surfers out that day. They were zipping back and forth with great ease. “This is going to be so much fun!” I thought to myself. This thought became short lived.

I could tell which way the wind was blowing, and it was indeed blowing, but for some reason my sail and me weren’t getting along too well. I just couldn’t seem to get it turned in the precise direction I needed to get moving. Several times I did manage to catch the wind, only to head straight for the ropes marking the end of the swimming area (not exactly what I had planned).

Needless to say, the wind was blowing, but I had to posture the sail to maximize what was coming my way. And, I soon discovered it was going to take me more than one afternoon to master it.
I’ve found that mastering the art of catching the “wind of God” is very similar. We can know all the “elements” of this and that, but once your out in the deep, the theory is sometimes, simply underwater. We must acquire the art of knowing how to postures ourselves to maximize what’s coming our way. And,
if we ever hope to move along with the wind,
we must learn not only how to recognize it,
but to get in the way as well – and SAIL.


Jenni said...

I've also found that it's difficult to learn when to actually catch and attain the wind and when to just let it flow. I think sometimes we get so caught up in what others are sensing that we forget that each of us have our own relationship. Wind can be unpredictable, whether it gusts or breezes. Is the wind of God related to the breath of God? Is there a way to discern the difference if there is one and is that even important? All questions to think, ponder and pray about I think.

Dave said...

Having grown up in church, I assumed that I knew the basics of christian faith from the Bible. I mostly relied on what the pastor, parents, and others said about the Bible. Recently I got challanged that it takes effort to be a God walker. Just as it takes effort to learn a new sport, game, job,etc. And so I have made an effort to Read the Bible and learn what God says about me and the people around me.