Today's Lectionary Text
Ecclesiastes 1:6The wind blows to the south,
goes around to the north;
around and around blows the wind;
the wind returns to its rounds again.
Out here on the plains we understand wind. We know it as both blessing and curse. A fresh breeze in the morning of what promises to be a hot day feels so good as I am out watering my shade garden and the plants on my front porch. Even the hot wind of an August afternoon is a blessing when it moves the stifling air around me. Yet the wind often brings destruction when it comes with a summer thunderstorm – or even a winter blizzard. Nothing stops the wind in whatever circumstance it comes. Wind is one of the elements with which we must learn to live and contend.
Nothing stops the Holy Spirit, either. We can resist the nudges we get from the Spirit; dig in our heels and stick our fingers in our ears. But such avoidance does not stop the movement of the Spirit in our lives. Like the wind, the Holy Spirit is persistent.
The image of wind is a wonderful descriptor of the Holy Spirit for me. For a long time in my young adult life, I tried to resist the movement of the Holy Spirit in my life – much as I have tried to stand fast against the force of the wind at times. But I discovered that doing both of those things is exhausting. I also discovered that letting the Spirit guide my direction rather than pushing against it is empowering.
So why have I continued to resist so often throughout my life? Why do any of us try to resist the movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives? Perhaps it is that none of us wants to let go of control over our lives. We want to make the decisions about what we do and how we live. I know that I still want to have that kind of control! Yet I have known the freedom that comes with letting the Spirit guide me. What might happen in our world if all of God’s children let God’s Spirit guide us throughout life? What if we simply learned to live and contend with the Holy Spirit in the same way we do the wind?
--Robbie Fall, retired elder
Prayer for Reflection
Grant us all, O God, the desire to follow where your Holy Spirit leads. Amen.
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