The Spirit Blows Where It Will

We all like to let loose and get a little childlike at times. In scripture God always seems to use the weak, the foolish and yes, the childlike. As we get older we seem to trust our own instincts much more than putting our trust into God’s leading. I cherish my adult friends and family members. They have been wonderful mentors and have been there when I’ve needed someone to lean on, but some of life’s greatest lessons I’ve learned through the youngest members of God’s family.

Growing up in Michigan surrounded by the Great Lakes, allowed Mark and me the opportunity to do quite a bit of sailing. We wanted our daughters to grow up having this experience as well. Whenever possible we would head to Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands in Bayfield, Wisconsin. This is beautiful country with a rocky, rugged shoreline. When the girls were in college we would take their friends along for a weekend sail, dropping anchor in one of the many bays surrounding the islands for the night. There is nothing like the view of the night stars in the heavens when on the water. I remember one particular night when the wind shifted. Suddenly we were no longer connecting with the bunks we were sleeping on and our boat was being blown closer to the rocky, shallow shore. Our best laid plans for a safe place to rest were being blown away. There was no possibility of staying put and weathering it out. The wind was definitely pushing us into action. We cannot control the winds movement, or the storms that pop up from seemingly nowhere. Lake Superior is famous for them. The kids with us were great. They were up in a flash. Life jackets on thinking safety first, ready to take instructions from Mark. A boat can have only one captain! The anchor needed to be lifted. We needed to use our understanding of the winds force, of the boat and it’s rigging to get us to safer waters. The kids were so resilient, so trusting, never questioning. It was a storm that lasted into the early morning hours but, their willingness to just do what needed to be done was remarkable. They did great, no meltdowns the entire time. The following day the wind filled our sails. It was a beautiful day for sailing.

I learned some valuable life lessons that trip. I’m sure the kids with us did as well. Lessons about God’s absolute power, how the power of his Holy Spirit is with us, but can never be controlled by us. It blows where it wills. God gives us the tools and understanding to navigate through the rocky patches and storms in our lives. A spirit-led life is not a passive one, but is ready to jump into action. It takes a lot of trust and faith and yes, God’s grace.

I spent last week at Cherry Creek reservoir with my 10 year old grandsons in sailing class. This is the second year for them. I hope they learn a little about God’s awesome power and his mighty holy spirit. I hope they learn they cannot control the winds that come up, but can learn to use tools (God gives us many) to navigate and use the wind to get them where God intends them to go. I know they woke up every morning excited and ready to start their day. It was a great week. It was a great start.

Father God,
There is no peace in my life when I am going in the wrong direction. Continue to teach me to follow your Holy Spirit’s leading. Amen

Lois Autterson

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