Wind Ecclesiastes quote

ACROSS THE LOW HORIZON of a mid-Atlantic salt marsh, storms can be seen coming a long way off, usually from the southwest. The light changes, subtly at first. Wind Tom's Cove storm cropDark reflections play off the water’s surface, hiding the depths. Azure skies turn dark blue, sometimes abruptly if a storm is coming in fast. Underneath shifting clouds, cordgrass islands and tidal channels flicker bright and dark. The winds come subtly at first, then suddenly intensify. The leading edge of storm clouds can roll in like surf, highlighted against a trailing squall line or thunderhead, a tightly wound cord of energy unwinding and releasing as it crashes overhead.

The strongest storms where I grew up were not the thunderstorms emerging from the prevailing west to east weather systems. Remnants of tropical storms and hurricanes occasionally drove up from the south and battered the beach, the dunes, and then the marsh behind them. A high school friend and I drove down to the beach at twilight to watch tropical storm Doria come ashore. His beat-up but massive old Ford Galaxy swayed in the roaring crosswinds on the beach road like a drunk elephant. The sky was already dark and violent. Inside the car, the roar of the wind was muffled some, but that we could still hear it, and it was the only thing we could hear, was ominous. We parked the car and had to lean against the wind to walk a short way to a small planked deck just on the ocean side of the dunes. We were slightly protected by an announcement board, little more than a sheet of plywood with a partial roof, open at the bottom. Rain blasted in horizontally, stinging our legs like thousands of shot pellets. From shoreline to the horizon, the whole surface of the sea was wildly involved; a raging, wind-driven chaotic mass of crashing surf, rising and falling waves, highlighted by thousands of whitecaps and streaming sea foam. The storm winds tore sentiment and shallowness aside. The world was alive and dangerous.

“THE WIND BLOWS WHEREVER IT PLEASES,” Jesus told Nicodemus in the night, “You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going” (Gospel of John 3:8). From 93 million miles away the Sun warms the Wind circulation of atmospherespinning world; air rises, cools, then falls again, and the atmosphere circulates. Air moves from high pressure cells to low pressure cells and then back again. The winds begin to blow and the turning Earth deflects the growing winds; clockwise in the northern hemisphere, counter-clockwise in the southern hemisphere. A three day forecast will tell you where. A five to seven day forecast gives a good ballpark figure. Much after that and chaos theory ensures we really don’t know where the wind will come from or where it is going. Or whether it will be a gentle breeze or a shattering storm. “So it is with everyone born of the Spirit,” Jesus finished his analogy.

Wind sailsTHE WIND, LIKE THE SPIRIT, OFFERS AN INVITATION to journey. The Spirit, like the wind, is sovereign. He will go where he chooses and he will move us where he chooses. He can be gentle or dangerous. But never predictable. A windblown life is what we all really want, isn’t it?


About Michael W Nicholson

I am a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband, father, and grandfather, a brother and a friend. My professional career has been in education. I taught Industrial Arts in Middle School for six years, four years as an adjunct professor in theology and philosophy, and fifteen years teaching classes in Old Testament, Apologetics, and Worldviews in a Christian High School. Like everyone else who breathes in American culture, I am infected with chronic postmodernity, but I am aware of this and regularly administer the treatment: Historic Christian Orthodoxy as contained in the Scriptures of the Old & New Testaments. I am fascinated by almost every subject imaginable, except economics. I have a Ph.D. in systematic theology from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I believe in a God who wants to be found; who leaves signs and suggestions, trademarks, signatures, and signposts scattered throughout every aspect of our existence. And if we are truly looking, He will find us. God is the great Story-teller, and the story he is telling is the great drama of Reality, unfolding before us and of which we are all inescapably a part. And so I am collecting fragments, in Philosophy, in Science, and in Art and holding these fragments up to the light and turning them this way and that, and trying to see and say how the Story—the metanarrative, the Christian Worldview—is involved in, and makes sense of, every aspect of our being-in-the-world (to borrow a term from Heidegger and take it where perhaps he did not intend for it to go). And by doing this I hope I am helping to light the way Home; back to the sea, the ocean, the Ocean of Infinite Love. My blog covers a wide range of topics around this central theme that the transcendent realm surrounds and permeates our existence. I put up new posts periodically. I hope you enjoy them. I hope they help.
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