“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:8
I like to have a fair amount of control over my environment, don’t you? We use our air conditioners in the summer, and the heater in the winter. We wear sunscreen, sunglasses, coats, mittens and rain jackets — depending on the forecast. Because our relative affluence allows us to control our exposure to weather, we often forget how it can affect us.
But weather holds tremendous power. The wind is especially powerful — depending on its speed, it can fly a kite, disturb a picnic, bring in a thunderstorm, or flatten an entire town. It can howl in the night, or gently rustle the leaves on a fall day. For all of our advances, we cannot control it. And I find it oddly inspiring that Jesus uses wind to describe the spiritually born-again.
Like the wind, the Holy Spirit is a free agent. It can be a hurricane or a gentle breeze. And even more than that — I’m supposed to be “led” by the Spirit! By something I can’t direct, that may choose to soothe or upheave depending on God’s plan.
I don’t know about you, but that’s a bit scary to me. A bit dangerous. Part of me wants to hide in my church pew as a good, church-going mother. “I’m doing my part down here, God. I take the kids to church, I pray for people around me. I help others every now and then. I said a swear word the other day but that was only after a large board fell on my foot. I’m sorry about that, but it really hurt! You see, just being human takes quite a bit of my energy. How am I supposed to make room for the unpredictable, uncontrollable wind of the Spirit?”
And no sooner do those thoughts enter my mind that another one rushes in: Choose Jesus or choose self — there is no in-between.
I must literally become dust in the wind, going wherever the Spirit leads. Otherwise what’s the point?