Catch the Wind
The wind blows strong against your face. It lifts your hair almost in one piece like a sail. Back and forth little tendrils fly hitting your eyes, your nose and your cheeks. The tears are falling and you are not even sure why. Your tears usually fall in sadness but you don't feel sad. But it's not happiness either for that seems too shallow a word, only skimming the definition of emotion at this moment. How do you feel? What is happening in your heart? You think to yourself, “I could fly!” This, right here, is your emotion. It is why you are here. It is where you have come from, where you are going and how you are going to get there. This is life and it is all of your thoughts, emotions and deepest longings all wrapped up into one moment.
For so long you tried so hard. If you could just work harder, be smarter, do greater things... It was exhausting really. You climbed the mountain for years, you know--the one you are on now. Step after step after step. You grew tired and angry when it seemed you never got any higher but instead just looped around and around the mountain. It made you feel stupid and somehow full of shame. As you looked out from your vantage point, you could see all their faces peeking from high atop the other mountains. Were they laughing at you? They sure were smiling big. Maybe they weren't sneering, but it looked that way to you. You realize now that you were sneering at yourself. If you are really being honest, you are really tired of yourself. You never. You can't. You don't. You won't. So you didn't.
Sure, sometimes you climbed higher and higher but then out of nowhere the ropes to your sail would entangle your feet and you would fall back down to where you started. Like Candyland….just about the time you would make it to the gingerbread house, you would find yourself sliding down a colorful ladder all the way to the bottom of the mountain.
But now you know what you have to do. So you carefully pack your sails into your backpack making sure to tuck all the strings inside the zipper. You won't be tripped this time. It's weird... the weight of the sails disappears on your back and you feel light as a feather. You wonder, “Could I fly?” You sense in your heart that it is almost time….but not yet. You will fly...but not yet. You climb. But this time is different. You don't look around. You don't look down. You don't look out or over or under or through. You only look up. You focus on the top--that tippy top place where you know your feet will stand and you will fly. You are breathless but not from exertion. In fact, you don't even feel your feet touching the ground. You look down. Your feet appear to be touching the ground but that's okay--you know that they aren't. That makes you smile. That little moment of looking down reminded you of all the many times before when you looked at your feet to see why they felt so heavy--as if someone was pulling you down inside the mountain. Those were the times you would trip and fall. But this looking down is different. You are in awe this time. Somehow you are looking down and looking up at the very same time!
And just like that, you are standing here at the very apex of the massive rock. It's almost pointed like mountains are on the movies. You place one foot on one side of the point and the other right across from it on the other side. Your ankles are working hard to balance but there is no fear. You know that in mere moments the time will come. A chant echoes in your heart. If it wasn't so true you would be sick of it by now as it has been relentlessly playing in your head the entire trip up here. “I was born into freedom. I was made to fly. I lift my sails to the sky. I'm going to catch the wind.” All you want at this moment is to catch the wind and fly. It is what you were created for. And now, it is time. So you carefully pull the backpack around to the front of your chest being careful not to throw yourself off balance. The noise of the zipper seems to echo across the air deep into the valley below. Your sails--there they are. As you pull them out of the pack they begin to float and flap in the wind begging you to grip them tight lest they fly away without you. The sunlight catches the colors and they glisten as if they are laughing in delight. The sails seem to come alive and it feels like you are holding 100 excited children on Christmas morning. You laugh with them delighting in their exuberance for this life they have just been given. And then a quieter laugh mutters in your throat as you realize these sails feel like family-like kindred friends along for the journey. You stand together now ready for the moment for which you both have come.
Making sure to keep hold of the ropes you begin to lift one side of the sail. And then the other. Immediately all the laughter, all the faces, all the wind, all the preparation, all the striving, all the relenting, all the promises, they swirl together like the powerful funnel of a tornado spinning out all of the impurity and debris. What is left of the cacophony is beautiful simplicity. All you ever had to do was lift your sails. The strong wind is all around you singing back to you…”You were born into freedom. You were made to fly. You lift your sails to the sky and catch the wind.” It is the most beautiful song you have ever heard and you want to stay in this moment forever. Out of the corner of your eye, you see a bright light in the top right-side of the sail. Nothing could prepare you for the sight of huge flames of fire ripping through your sails making colors you are sure you have never seen before. Hues of red and orange and gold but brighter and much more vibrant than ever. Even amidst the fire and the gold and the wind and the valley below, you know now more than ever that you are exactly where you were made to be. And you are safe. Finally safe. And finally home.
Come O wind of the Holy Spirit and lift our sails high, high into the sky. Oh to know that all we ever have to do is show up on our mountain in worship. The work will be done for us the minute we lift our sails. All you ever ask of us, Oh Lord, is just to show up and let you into our hearts. You promise if we will focus the eyes of our hearts fully on you that your Holy Spirit will blow like winds of fire into our hearts and carry us to places we never even knew existed--places we dare not even dream--places more intimate and fulfilling than a bridegroom could hope for--places the world need not understand. Breathe the air of life into our sails as we stand in resignation of all trying and striving and acting. We were born into freedom. We were made to fly. Lift our sails into the sky.
Thank you Bethel Music for the inspiration: "Catch the Wind"