As a family, one of our favorite things is sailing. I can keep us from crashing but my husband is the true sailor. He gets the art of trimming the sails perfectly so as to catch the best wind. Depending on the direction and power of the wind, the currents, and the day, the sails have to be trimmed just right in order to keep from going into irons; or in other words, losing the wind and therefore any movement forward. On a windy day, when the sails are perfectly trimmed, sailing can provide a fast and exhilarating ride!
Throughout Scripture, the Holy Spirit is compared and likened to wind. In fact, the Greek word pneuma means “wind, spirit or breath.” In Acts 2, the Holy Spirit is introduced as a powerful wind enabling believers to utilize the gifts of the Spirit. Wind and the Holy Spirit share many characteristics; both are invisible, powerful, and while they can’t be seen with the human eye, the results can be both seen and felt. Both can be unpredictable and often unexplainable. Isaiah 40:13 says, “Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord, or instruct the Lord as his counselor.” The Spirit goes where he wishes.
In Monday’s devotional, Pastor Scott pointed out how the phrase, “it seemed good” appears in Acts 15 three different times. On the third time, in verse 28, it says, “it seemed good to us and the Holy Spirit”. Does that mean that we can follow God’s leading without a clear and direct word from God? Trimming your sails is not so different from staying connected to God’s Word. We can listen for and feel the wind, but staying in tune with the truth of Scripture will help us not only evaluate what is truth, but it will also free us to enjoy the ride. St. Ignatius says that when we say yes to the responsiveness, openness, and flexibility to the unpredictable stirrings of the Holy Spirit, he brings surprises that are greater than we could ever plan or imagine. The Holy Spirit just doesn’t fit in a box, nor does he always tell us which way he is blowing!
Where do you sense the Holy Spirit leading you today? Are you grounded in God’s Word such that when the Spirit blows you are prepared to trim your sails? Wind can bring about unknown adventure and an exciting or unpredictable ride. Are you open to the Spirit’s leading even if the journey may be unknown?
Director of Care & Counseling