After a week of spending my daily quiet time in the new 24/7 prayer room at church, I’m back this morning by the sea.
As a storm is approaching, it is high tide. The waves are crashing and smashing and the wind howling around the car, rocking it around like crazy.
But I’m watching the seagulls.
They are divided into one of three actions. The most breath taking are the ones that are flying. I’m watching them soar, swoop and just hover – wings out, riding the 40 mile an hour winds and looking like the 60mph gusts are just a whole lot of fun.
Some of the birds have landed on the sea. As well as being birds designed to fly and use the wind, they are of course sea birds. They look just at home on the sea. With the waves piling up, an increasing swell, they ride on top of it, the ultimate roller coaster, looking like that is fun too. They certainly look better than some of the ships moored up here waiting for it to pass.
Every now and again though, some of the birds land on the promenade – and then they don’t look quite as at home. Facing into the wind, they are almost immediately blown off balance, feathers ruffling, looking ungainly. They usually take back to the air – just a few feet away from the ground, but seemingly finding it easier/more pleasant to ride the wind wings outstretched than try to balance on two legs against the gusts, on the ground.
It hit me, hard, that it probably mirrors our Christian walk – certainly mine!
When the sea of life is rough, I probably try to drop anchor and brace – instead of owning the waves and riding it out, trusting that my Maker has designed me to be able to do just that. When the winds of circumstance gust, do I try to stay on land, solid ground, and get buffeted around or do I spread my wings and face into it?
More than that, to use the wind differently in the analogy, how about when the Spirit blows strong around me? As I write I am listening to a spontaneous worship session from Bethel, that I’d listened to a lot in the prayer room last week. Throughout the hour and a quarter session you can hear and sense the rhythm of Holy Spirit as He moves. His “wind” gets stronger, then becomes gentle, then builds up to stunning strength with breath taking “gusts”. Thank God for anointed worship leaders, musicians and singers, who have learnt to just spread their wings and FLY when that happens! You can see in their faces, their bodies, their words and music, the exhilaration of being in the full face of His wind.
I want that! I have decided to pursue that. Always in worship (and we are blessed at our church to have people in our worship teams who are also learning to do just that, walking deeper every week into His Presence and taking the congregation with them) but more than that – in all of my life.
I’m praying dangerous prayers! I’m praying for Godly storms of His Holy Spirit, to see the full power of His Holy Spirit move. I want to see that for my church – I want to see us soar, calling out in exhilaration at the gusts, learning how to position ourselves to make the most of His power, His presence. I want those in our community, in our lives, our circles of influence, to watch us with the same amazement I’m watching those gulls – marvelling at how they are soaring, admiring their beauty and design. Because if they marvel at us, it will be because we are demonstrating God, His majesty, being His hands and feet, the visible expression of His grace and mercy.
I don’t want to be a ship, man made, surviving, riding it out. I want to be God’s creation, working in harmony with the rest of His creation, doing what I was designed to do, embracing Him fully, and soaring on the never ending wind of His Spirit.