“The wind is You, every shade of cool and hot. The wind is You, every brush of breeze or gust, and I, sitting here (sort of sweating but not quite) breathing in/ breathing out nothing other than You.”
We’re in that time of year (September) when summer is drifting ever so slowly away into the past and the fall, an impending storm of wind and change from frivolity into slumber, has yet to show its face. I’m reminded of this by the pile of dead, brown leaves strewn out along a street I drove past this morning. Fall is approaching but we won’t see it until the signs are already there.
One day soon, I’ll awake to the trees already seemingly days into their transformation, and I’ll have read the “signs of the times” in the leaves and refreshingly cool gusts of winds after the fact. Experience has taught me that despite my diligence and desire, fall will begin its transformation without me, and I’ll be a little disappointed in myself.
So, I take a moment and think, “what else will I miss?,” or “what else have I missed?” The presence of the Holy Spirit, the giver of peace, can’t be seen but can be felt or maybe more accurately, noticed. I want it in a larger way than I even want to see the beginning of fall. Yet, watching for it doesn’t improve my chances. What I’m getting at here is what CS Lewis calls “the surprise of joy” and what I’ve called in other places “joy out of nowhere,” that surprising moment when the presence of the Spirit, which was already there comes to my attention. Like the fall in full force, there’s that moment when the Wind blows and my whole mind and spirit has a freshness blown into it.
This is not a “teaching moment.” I can’t teach myself, let alone others, how to anticipate this gift. I’m always surprised by it and it rarely lasts for long but it reminds me that I’m not alone. I guess it’s the first few hints of fall that has me thinking and anticipating that which I can’t capture. The Spirit is as untamed as the wolf roaming the outskirts of town, and there’s no point in trying to capture it. What I can do is pray, reflect, and read the Word, and I can rest in knowing that once again, the wind will come and refresh me whether I happen to see it coming or not.