Friday, 20 April 2012

Walking the Path of the Wind

Today, as is my custom I was reading the essential blog 
 and delighting in it's challenge
 to keep our faith and hearts open and questing,
whilst acknowledging our need for orthodoxy.

For many years I have wrestled with these questions.
I used to anxiously ask my spiritual director,
"Am I falling off the edge?"

Gradually I have come to see my walk with God
 is actually a continual dance.
To stay in step I surrender my need to feel "safe",
(or do I mean"right" and in control?)
to the more urgent need 
to be constantly moving, alive, open, 
and trusting the challenge of relationship.

I have come to think of it like this:-
"Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind  
or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother's womb, 
so you cannot understand the activity of God,
 who does all things."
 Ecclesiasties 11:5 ( New Living Bible)
Perhaps the best illustration of this 
"path of the wind" 
for me is the memory of the field 
at the back of the house where I was born. 
 When the grasses grew long and lush
  the wind whispered through it so 
it stirred and murmured like the sea.

 Often as I watched,
 a path created by the wind would open up 
and carve a clear path across it.
I don't think I ever saw a straight way cleaved by the wind,
 rather it meandered like a stream,
 only to disappear as soon as it became visible.
 Then a new one would appear.
There's a dance, and a delight in this way of finding a path,
as for all it's apparent elusiveness it is an earthed,
 and true way.

In the new testament of the Christian bible 
the Holy Spirit of God is referred to as the pneuma
which is Greek for breath, or wind, 
 or it can mean soul or spirit as well.

The old testament similarly uses the Hebrew  ruach elohim 
 to mean the Spirit of God,  ruach being breath, or wind.

Also Jesus said,
" The wind blows wherever it pleases.
 You hear its sound,
 but you cannot tell where it comes from  or where it is going.
 So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." John 3:8.

As well as describing the mystery of the Spirit's path
 this image suggests much more about God's dealings with us.

The movement of a summer wind
 can be a gentle breeze that caresses,
 even warms and soothes us.
 Then again a cool breeze can lift, refresh,
and re-invigorate us. 

Sea breezes, or mountain air  
stirs the blood making us feel more fully alive.

I personally love a wild day
 when the trees are thrashing in the wind 
and making me want to dance.
My teacher friends all say that the kids in the classroom are especially skittish and lively on such days, 
so it's not just me!

The days when it is so fierce
 it buffets and pushes you along in it's direction 
is only a tiny taste of the wind's immense and fearful power.
No wonder we look to harness the raw energy of the wind 
to try and save the earth's precious resources.

Scripture, (and experience!) tells us however that 
 the wind of the Spirit of God 
can neither be harnessed nor directed.
Rather it is for those who have given themselves
 to God in Christ
and are "born of the Spirit" 
to rely upon the breath of God
to direct, guide, energise, 
and even bear them along the path of life.

Still and all,
 the tension of leaning on the power of the Spirit
 and knowing His freedom has always to be set against
 the possibility of getting carried away 
with steps of our own.
So we stay on our toes,
dancing on the wide tight rope path of faith.

I wish you the joy of the dance

Be Blessed this Weekend.

Updated and amended from an earlier post.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Barking Mad

I don't suppose anybody has missed me
 but I've had a break from the blog.
Life has been a bit up and down, 
and so have I ,
 so today walking around my beloved park
 and re-visiting the trees which are such familiar friends 
I saw yet again how much we have in common.

After all
 I know what it feels like
 to be all twisted out of shape
 and find it hard to get moving,

To feel heavy footed
 and clumsy.

More than a bit cut up.
Hacked off even.

Then again there are times when I feel slender, 
(notice I said FEEL slender),
and sinuous, and ready to be a dragon lady if need be.

And of course
 I still have hubby
 by my side
rugged as ever
and with a
 little spring time buttonhole
in his lapel.

Need I add
 I'm still
 barking mad
 just as I was before
 I took the break.

Care to join me?

God Bless