Monday, 15 June 2009

A Spirit Like the Wind

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
(John 3:8 NKJV)

“that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
(John 3:6b NKJV)

I'm reading Foster's Celebration of Discipline at the moment. The first discipline he discusses is meditation. One of the things I particularly liked about the chapter is that he makes a distinction between meditating on scripture and studying scripture.

I've never seen the distinction before, but it makes a lot of sense to me. If I'm studying a bible passage, I should use notes or a study guide, because I know those often help me to understand a passage better. What I don't like about doing that is that it removes a lot of the spontaneity from my bible reading.

Meditation, on the other hand seems much more spontaneous. I don't mean that it isn't a discipline that needs to be planned and practised, but that it's less prescribed and guided. Yesterday I spent a long time (for me) contemplating John 3:8. If I'd tried to study it, I doubt I'd have lasted two minutes. There's only so much one can analyse in a single sentence. Instead, I used Foster's method of imagination, which was fairly awesome.

If I see God as a great wind blowing through the world, I am a tiny breath of air. I can choose to blow where God sends me and align myself with Him, if I want to. I choose that. Like the verse says, I don't know where I've come from, and other people know even less. Sure, I know a lot about how I grew up, and I appreciate it, but I don't know what it all really means. I can't know myself perfectly.

I don't know where I'm going. That's something that I've had to deal with in a very tangible way this year. I don't know where my mom will be posted to next year. I can look at the possibilities and the likelihoods, but ultimately I have to trust that God will send me the right way. Somehow, though, it's hard not to trust when I feel the wind in my mind. God will make what is best happen, even if I can't see what that will be.

It's one of the most incredible things I've experienced. Trust for me has always been, at best, a conscious decision. 'I should stop stressing about this because I need to trust God.' There is an awesome peace in trusting implicitly and automatically. I guess all I need to do now is say 'Thank you, Jesus'.

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