Allowing ourselves to be moved by the Spirit.
“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 3v8
When a tree is presented with water, it simply receives. It does not stop life, or the flow of life, in and through it. Likewise, a tree allows itself to be moved by the wind. It does not fight this movement… at times, it even allows itself to be damaged (as it lets the wind be the wind.) A tree doesn’t lie to itself that the cold, wet, uncomfortable winter months do not exist. It is present to the here and now, regardless of comfort. A tree agrees with Love in all things as it embraces the moments it finds itself in.
Yet unlike a tree, how often are we unwilling to embrace any sort of movement (such as suffering or love) that has even the slightest possible outcome of producing any sort of personal pain? How often are we led by our obsession for security and full-knowing? How often do we attempt to convince ourselves that we’re safe… all the while, giving up our humanity in the process? In a way, we stop the flow of Life through us. We reject that Life is truly Life. This way of living causes us to become an isolated people who are hardened against the move of the Spirit of God all around us because we’re no longer willing to receive God’s unpredictable wind in and through us.
The Spirit of God is not outlined. We cannot predict or plan His next movement. His ways may even seem un-orthodox at times which can make our process of allowing Him to move us an uncomfortable one. He may lead us into moments that cause suffering (a release of what we find valuable, safe, and necessary.) But for us to be fully human is to allow this Movement full access to our every moment.
Our every thought…
Our ever opinion…
Our every conversation…
This allowing then becomes our greatest practice… to allow ourselves to agree with Love (to agree with God) as the wind of His Spirit is embraced as our most life shaping force.
It means we’re always in a position to listen. Viewing all of life as a canvas on which our Father is painting His glorious love for us, leading us into good things. In this place, as we allow… we’re give up our ability to be our own god. And in turn, we become a healthy, founded people, who find ourselves producing goodness.
"It seems all being allows that ecstasy except us... we're the only ones. If you doubt it, watch your dog. Dogs don't stop the ecstasy... you get tired of them jumping up and licking you. It's pure unadulterated, fascinating being. Enjoying being a dog. It doesn't question it, and say, 'Why aren't I a duck'... no, apparently it just likes being a dog. And the mulberry tree likes being a mulberry tree. And a bee likes being a bee. And the bees only job is to be a bee. And that gives glory to God. There's only one species that resists the Flow, and that's the risk God took, and that's the suffering of God. That He gave some the freedom to say 'No, I don't want to participate in this Flow of being.' And that, is sin." (Richard Rohr. Divine Dance: Audio Recording)
In Rohr’s statement, the dog allows. In Psalm 1, the tree planted by the steam allows. So what if all God is longing for us to do is allow ourselves to agree with Love? To drop the worry about the outcome and simply be present to the moment we’re in? Aware He is there. And what if that’s what produces the very thing Psalm 1 paints the picture of? A blessed and full life.
If the universe is bigger than us, and if Love has made a way for us to become aware to our already restored self in God, again and again and again – then in moments of disagreement with Love (or the choosing to turn our face from God and then to agree with the darkness; whether pride, lust, anger, etc.) we’re really only stopping the Flow as much as a child building a rock wall in a stream stops the flow of the river. Which means it’s far less about the universe breaking when we sin and far more about missing the full life that God says is already ours.
May we learn to embrace all moments as opportunities for God to show us wonderful things. And may we release our need for control, safety, and having to know as we rest in the reality that God speaks even through the wind in the trees…
The next time it’s windy outside, go on a walk and watch the trees as they’re blown by the wind. Watch how they don't push back or reject the wind, but allow themselves to be moved.
Ask Holy Spirit what this means for your today.