Several years ago, my elder son and I had a sailboat (2 actually) that we sailed on the Chesapeake Bay. What wonderful times we had together! We couldn’t see the wind, of course. But we learned (by trial and error) how to harness it by watching the sails. sometimes, the winds we light. At such times, we had to work hard to learn to use the force of even a light wind to get where we wanted to go. And often, we had to alter course, zig zag, to get from here to there. And in light winds, well, you couldn’t hurry to get there.
Other times, in a heavier wind, we could zip right along, rail in the water. Jimmy Buffet’s “Attitudes & Latitudes” would blare from the boom box. Sails full, smiles and laughter abounded.
We quickly learned you CAN’T sail directly into the face of the wind. And always, the wind dictated how we would sail.
“the wind of God blew over the water.” (GE 1:2 NSRV) The wind, of course, is the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit. The Spirit was there at the beginning.
“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.” (Jn 3:8) And so it is with the Spirit. We can’t tell the wind where or how to blow. And we can’t sail directly into the face of the wind. But we can fill our sails with the wind, as we Christians can be filled with the Spirit. As we learn and grow as sailors, we learn how to harness the power of the wind. And it is seldom a straight course to get from here to there. If we don’t learn how to utilize the wind, we wander or flounder. We may still be able to “put the rail in the water”, but to what purpose other than thrill and enjoyment. Those are not very gratifying as you want to become a real sailor instead of just aimlessly bobbing around. And so it is with harnessing the power of the Spirit in our lives. We can neither create the wind nor control its force. But we can open our sails to the wind, and learn to harness its power. And so it is with the Spirit.
In your life, may the wind be brisk, and your sails full. May you learn to harness the power of the wind, to read it, to know your talents. The sailing is not only full of joy, but meaning. The wind can get us where we need to go.
Alive in the Word
My thanks to faithful4him. Her blog, Change of Plans, brought back these wonderful memories.