“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
The weather at Outer Banks (OBX), North Carolina in October is something to be experienced. That is where I sit as I write this note. For instance, On Monday I sat out near the beach with the weather at 85 degree F and sunny. Twenty-four hours later I’m hunkered down in a cottage with the rain blowing and it’s 65 degree F. The wind is gusting to 30 mph, slightly rocking this well-built shelter. (If this home didn’t move with the wind it would eventually come down. The energy from the wind must go somewhere. “Its strength is in its flexibility,” says the homeowner.) Now, there are some folks braving the wind. From my third-floor vista I can see the ocean, with the waves coming out of the northeast and almost parallel to the beach. Moments ago I spotted kites over the waves. Below each kite I could make out through the rain a person being pulled along while riding a board. This is “kiteboarding.” And today’s ride over the waves must be thrilling. I witnessed one rider with board lifted 10 to 15 feet into the air after cresting one wave. Of course, the rider landed upright and continued on out of my sight. Amazing what happens when we accept and appreciate the power of the wind.
Jesus used our experience of the wind to describe experiencing “the Spirit.” Jesus’ teaching on the Holy Spirit reminds us that we do not control the wind or the Spirit. Today we have weather maps, weather channels on cable, weather websites, and even weather apps for our “smart” devices. With all of this knowledge of the weather we have yet to learn a way control the wind. Two thousand years after Jesus uttered this lesson we have experience the Holy Spirit and can attest to the awesome power of this presence of God. And despite these observations we cannot control God’s Spirit. Oh, we do try! We can pray to God our wish list as quick as I can ask (again) for the sun to come out. But, in actuality, it is good we cannot control the Spirit.
If I could control God’s Spirit then someone is going to get left-out. Just like if I could control the wind a day will come when someone else cannot “kiteboard.” If I can control it, it will be to meet my desires. Thankfully, God controls the Spirit. Therefore, borrowing from “Ride the Wind” seen at a local OBX kiteboard rental store, it’s our calling to “Ride the Spirit.” Our strength is in our flexibility. Come on! Let God thrill you too.