Could it have been a stranger, more wild, quirky, or unusual summers? For most of the summer months we got blistered with outrageously high temperatures. And somewhere midsummer we experienced a storm that included something called a micro burst. We watched as our grill tumbled across the yard, with our lawn furniture trying to play tag with it. After the storm we went outside the next day to survey the damage. There were shingles, limbs, and debris everywhere. It was a mess.
The wind can be a powerful force. Unharnessed, it can wreak havoc across the land. It comes quickly and often, just as quick, it's gone, leaving the landscape different. Recently we received some news here at the church that took some wind out of our sails. We said goodbye to a longtime member and employee. It left us flat and listless. It was a hard time for us all.
But the wind can also be a good thing. People who catch their "pneuma" (Greek word for breathe) after a particularly difficult time can actually use the event to grow stronger. Resistance (oncoming wind) is actually what enables planes to rise from the ground. And a healthy breeze behind us can help us set our sails and take off on a new journey in a new direction.
Churches sometimes are comfortable sitting in the harbor where it is calm and safe. But the real joy of being a Christian, I believe, is not knowing what's next and still embracing it. When people in the pews each wait for the wind, and trim their sails, anticipating a movement of the Holy Spirit in their midst, and all set sail together, it can turn into a downright Spiritual Regatta.
I think you'd agree that sleeping giant, the church, is overdue to wake up and set sail. But that can only happen when each Christ-follower makes that choice as well. We cannot harness the wind (God), but how we choose to adjust our sails will determine where we God takes us.