Today, I was sitting outside and editing my thesis. The sun's warmth and blue sky enveloped the entire scene. I was so content with the beauty of the day and the direction of my work that I failed to notice the change in the weather.
Almost imperceptibly, clouds moved overhead. But I didn't notice. Surely, the temperature dropped, but my skin, so warm from the sun's recent rays, failed to notice the change.
But when the wind moved in, then I knew.
The thing about the wind is that it attacks multiple senses. My skin felt it. It wafted new smells, of rain and nearby barbecues, to my nose. Even my eyes saw its effects as leaves tossed across the parking lot. Only then did I notice the chill in the air, the absence of the sun, the dominance of the clouds.
The work of God is often like this. We can be distracted by how things once were and fail to take not of the amazing changes right at hand, at least until the Spirit blows and upends multiple things in our lives. At that point, not only do we notice the immediate differences, but the changes in the past come into focus as well. Reality coalesces in a way that reveals the consistency and activity of God despite our inattentiveness.
I call these watershed moments, those rare times when we have a crystal clarity about the activity of God in our lives, and our world. As the call process continues, I am praying that I will take note of God's movement, and if not, that God will send a Spirit-filled wind to take hold of eyes, that I might see clearly what God has for me and for the church.
And I will pray that all of us will experience this gift, either of discernment or of wind-blown revelation, when we need it most.
Simultaneously a sinner and a saint.