Spirituality: Whence the Wind?

"The aim of the Spiritual Growth Network of Kentucky is to empower others to pursue their respective spiritual journeys." We seek to encourage the reader to listen to the inner journey and the promptings of the Wind, wherever, however, whenever. --facilitator is Paschal Baute. SGN of KY is a nonprofit, nondenominational, educational corporation established in Kentucky in 1989. www.lexpages.com/sgn "Be still and know that I am the Lord." Psalm 46:10

Thursday, January 06, 2005

The Wind blows where it wills. . everywhere?.

I was just outside standing in the wind & praying. That still small voice suggested that I might go online & search "the wind blows where it wills." At the top of the list was your site. Your survey questions are wonderful but numerous.
I'm not sure that I can answer in any meaningful way...

I feel the Spirit blowing through my life in many ways. I am reminded of a quote my wonderful wife provided me ..."Every bush is afire with the presence of god. Only he who takes off his shoes sees."
God is always near & sometimes I see.

...in the trees, in the sun peeking through storm clouds & in the storm clouds themselves, in the playful smiles of my grandchildren, in songs, in movies, in the grocery store, on tv, at dawn & dusk, in people I love..like...& dislike, in my wife's caring & even in her condemnations, in art, in overheard conversations, in my children--their plights & victories, in quiet streams & busy streets, in silent fields & rock & roll.

When I See, I see God everywhere I look. When I feel, I feel wind blow & know His presence. When I hear, the angels sing. Still there is an indescribable state in which God's spirit & my own can exist in near unison. I can't remember when or where I've been "there", but I know I
have. It gives me a fervent desire for complete reunification with "ONE"- all there is & will be... The Great I AM.

Jesus said "The wind blows where it wills" & "I am the door."
I am one who opens the door to stand in the wind. When I do not see, I am blind... & also very thirsty for my own reality in Him. It is in Him that I find who I am....I am his Light, His Love & this manifestation of God in 3-D.....when I see every bush afire with the presence of God.
In the wind I stand and walk and live.


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

In Nature, Music and . . a new puppy.

I find the Spirit blowing in my life in the grandeur and the simplicity in

The crispness of a Spring breeze, fluttering all the tiny green
leaves just so.

I feel the Spirit when I write music that I feel conveys His
message, His love.

And when I play those songs and those of others, I feel
the Spirit.

Also in marriage, deep, true intimacy, in a new puppy (in spite
of poop!), in a funeral that has helped send a loved one home...

Monday, January 03, 2005

The Mariner is tuned to wind changes. . .

Paschal, I like the metaphor.
The only thing I can say about where I find the wind is everywhere. Like a sailor who simply senses the way the wind is blowing. The sailor never sees the wind but is always aware of it and its effects. The effects are obvious but the mariner often senses a change before the effects are manifest and can initiate action to take advantage of the change or to ward off adverse consequences.

"It is an ill wind that blows no one good", so some of the effects of the wind may appear disadvantageous, yet a skilled mariner is able to sail on course even in the face of an apparently contrary wind - but it requires some changes, subtle or large, in that case. So the wind is all round and its effects visible everywhere we look. At least, this is my experience.
Regards, Cara

Sunday, January 02, 2005

When I said: "God, you have control!"

Paschal, let me tell you where I found the wind.
Many years ago, everything around was collapsing out of control. I had two young children; a wife who was mentally ill but living at home (she had been hospitalized seven times and on one occasion certified as insane). I was out of a job, thousands of dollars in debt, and about to be evicted from my home for non-payment of rent. Because of all this and more, I was hanging on by my fingertips. I don't mean I was suicidal, that's not my style, I was just unable to find a solution to my problems.

One evening I sat contemplating my situation looking for a way to deal with it. It was hopeless. I could not find a solution. For some reason, I remembered a time a few years earlier when I had been flying as a pilot in the Air Force.

I recalled my time in pilot training. Initial flying training was done on Harvard aircraft at the Gimli airforce base in Canada. The Harvard trainer was a piston engined aircraft with dual controls. The student would sit in the front cockpit and the instructor in the rear cockpit.

The first rule of flying training was drummed into every student before the first training flight. If the aircraft got into difficulties while under the control of the student, the instructor would say to the student through the inter-com, "I have control". The student would respond, "You have control." The student would then let go all controls. The student took his hands off the throttle and the control column and took his feet off the rudder. The instructor would then fly the aircraft from the rear cockpit.

This rule was important. Many students and instructors had been killed because students had panicked and frozen on the controls when an aircraft being flown by the student got into difficulties..

Another aspect of the rule was, when the student felt himself getting into difficulties, the student would say to the instructor through the inter-com, "You have control". The instructor would reply, "I have control", and the student would then take hands and feet off all controls.
Now getting back to my problems, remembering my time in the Air Force, I could see no way out other than letting God take control of the situation. So, in absolute faith, I said to God, "You have control". By virtue of my faith, God replied, "I have control."

My next step was to let go all controls. I stopped looking for a job and for a new home. I stopped worrying about my debts. I let go of trying to control my situation.
Very quickly, things started to happen. The day before I and my family were due to be evicted from our home, a neighbor, who was a complete stranger, called by the house. He had heard of my situation and had a very nice, vacant house he would let me have at a nominal rent. I could move in next day.

When I had been working, I had a good reputation for the quality of my work. I had been forced to quit my job only because of my domestic situation. No sooner had I moved my family into the new home, than I was head-hunted by a company who was looking for a good man in my field of work. I was offered a salary MORE THAN TWICE what I had earned ever before in all my life. With the good salary, I was soon able to pay off all my debts. And so it went on.

This is how I found the wind when I needed it. It seems to me life can be very difficult at times but God is always there to help us if we go after him with humility. I believe what God was teaching me above was the importance of humility. It's not a new lesson, just a different way of illustrating it.

Thanks for asking. Best wishes in this project.

Friends, Lovers, Seekers, Searchers, Listeners,--also on the journey:

Where do you find Mystery in your life, the Presence of what Christians call the Holy Spirit? I am not asking for what you believe or even how you come to believe. In order to understand what I am asking for, let’s consider the metaphor of a sailing vessel.

Think of a sailing vessel with no true permanent port. It sails on the open seas and is subject to the force of the elements. God is not on board this ship (altho many would like to think He is), but God propels it, draws it forward, as the Wind blowing into its sails. On most points of the sail, the Wind is ahead of the ship, pulling it forward through the vacuum,--a negative force--generating on the leeward side of the sails. Let’s say the sails are your faith, and the wind, the breeze what moves your faith. The ship is a metaphor for your life, or your goals, or your own journey.

This mystery we call God is not essentially objectifiable, controllable, or a predictable object but the Wind / Breath / Blowing / Living Spiritual Presence, always ahead of theology (and church). The wind would not be "caught", its redemptive power would blow only for nature except for the human endeavor of fixing and adjusting the sail.
Wind or breath is the root metaphor present in the word "Spirit," so to think of this mystery as the Wind blowing into the sails is to understand God as Spirit, the most unrestricted of the Trinitarian symbols. Like the wind, the Spirit of God generates a mysterious attracting-propelling power in the world. Every sailor knows how alert one must be to the wind, and the slight variations of breeze and ship that are constant in the blowing. I am not asking for a discussion of the metaphor.


Another way of asking yourself this questions is: where do I find awe, a sense of wonder, the need to "take off my shoes?" maybe a compulsion to whisper rather than talk out loud, because this seems to be a sacred moment, or place, or person, perhaps a sense of undeserved and overwhelming giftedness. Where do you find the Wind, the Breeze for the sails of your faith? Where is your own "field of dreams"? Where do you find "amazing grace?"
Find some time for yourself. Think about your life, past and now. Where in the past have your found the Breeze for your sails, where now do you find the Wind that moves you to a sense of mystery, of the giftedness of your life, or where do you find amazing grace?

Go inside and listen carefully and become exquisitely aware of what your experience tells you. .If you write about it, you will ground it, establish it, own it, remember it, celebrate it, and it will nourish you on your journey.

Paschal Baute is welcoming your answers below with the aim of exploring the use of the internet for the sharing of our journeys and learning from one another. A group of us in Lexington have been engaged in this process now for 15 years (see web site: www.lexpages.com/sgn ) and part of our mission is to empower others by our own sharing.

Below you will find responses posted earlier in this gathering and sharing of stories. Copyright, Paschal Baute, 1997, 2004