Meteorologists are having a field day, rummaging around in their thesauri for words equal to the task of describing the nor’easter that is hammering the east coast on this January day.
“It’s Beauty and the Beast!” crowed NPR’s morning weather guy.
“I get the “beast” part,” chirped the perky news anchor, “but you’ve got to explain the ‘beauty,'” whereupon the meteorologist launched into a riveting psalm to the raw power of the storm.
He had my attention, and for a few minutes I imagined myself out in the storm, snow-caked scarf trailing behind me, face into the wind, being scoured clean by the blinding snow — sort of an east-coast, middle-aged, female version of John Muir, the 19th century North American explorer. He was known for climbing to the top of a Douglas fir in the middle of a wild, Sierra Mountain wind storm, holding on for dear life and riding out the tempest so that he could know and experience wind.
I, however, am known for making pot roast and home made ice cream on snowy days, so I peel another carrot and decide to use the food processor instead of the hammer to pulverize leftover candy canes for the ice cream. Through the driving snow, I see that Lady Cardinal, out on the deck rail, is having her own issues with the wind. Usually perfectly groomed in her red-orange lipstick, today her stylish, coiffed tuft of feathers is out of control, as, back to the wind, she struggles to maintain her dainty footing. Then, unexpectedly, the wind gusted, pivoting her where she stood, end for end, tail for beak.
This is the work of the wind, untamed and untame-able, turning us around when we least expect it. For the Christian, everything we do has its basis in the Wind of Spirit as both the Hebrew and the Greek render “spirit” as “wind” or “breath.” Apparently, John Muir had the right idea about how to relish wind, how to take it all in.
Today’s sideways snowstorm is a visible effect of wind, as are the sculpted drifts and tossing tree limbs. Typically, like Lady Cardinal, I want life on my own terms, predictable as the ingredients in my crockpot, without the bother of being upended by an invisible force beyond my control. How much I miss! I wonder what would happen if the Wind of Spirit was set free to do something in me that only God could do?
Now, don’t be looking for me at the top of any fir tree, riding out this storm! But what if, trusting the Wind to do His work, I relaxed my white knuckle control of the universe and let the beauty of Wind change my direction? What if the way to ride out life’s storms, the way to live “life in the Spirit” is to wait for the Wind to blow — and then to move.
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you . . .” Acts 1:8
If you enjoy reading Living Our Days, subscribe to get regular Bible studies and book reviews delivered to your inbox. Just enter your e-mail address in the field at the top of this page.
I link-up with a number of blogging communities on a regular basis. They are listed in the left sidebar by day of the week. I hope that you will take a moment to enjoy reading the work of some of these fine writers and thinkers.