Saturday, July 27, 2013

Catching The Wind

Chad and I both love to be out on the water. Spending time out on lake Ray Hubbard in Dallas was where we went on a lot of dates in the early stages of our relationship. Also, my mind tends to run constantly, even in my sleep, but when I’m on the water I can truly relax. Chad loves to sail and so do I, but I also enjoy kayaking.

Recently Chad and I were discussing which sport was actually more fun. When we lived in Amarillo Chad worked a trade to get an 18 foot Catamaran. While it is a simpler contraption than the big sailboat it still requires a lot of rigging. Sometimes it can take hours to set the mast, rig the sail and unfurl the jib. Since having time off for recreation is so rare and precious, I like the simplicity of setting out on the water with a kayak and paddle.

Last year Chad kind of gained the upper hand on our ongoing discussion after a float trip down the Illinois River. Some friends in the ministry graciously invited us along with some of our youth on their float trip. I was excited because it was the first real trip where I was going to get to paddle to my heart’s content. About half way down the river, with the sun on our backs it occurred to me, “the only way I’m going to get all the way down this river – and back, is to paddle, paddle, paddle.”

I paddled up next to Chad and could tell by the look on his face exactly what he was thinking, so I asked, “Where’s the wind, Captain?”

When we go out on the lake, after all the rigging is in place on the Cat and we’ve shoved off from shore the next step is to find the direction of the wind. When the wind hits our sails and we find a place to go on a run everything in the world feels right. It’s time to hang on and enjoy the ride.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in the ministry is that doing good works out of my own strength leads to burn-out and frustration. When I humble myself and follow Jesus, He leads me into the good works prepared beforehand for me to do and it is in this work where joy and endurance can be found.

In John 16 Jesus was leaving a charge for His disciples. He said,

5 “But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.”

Jesus was charging these men with the continuation of His life and legacy on earth. And what does He promise them? He will send a Helper! This Helper is no less than the Holy Spirit, the breath of God! He didn’t say, “Get out your paddles boys! It’s all up to you!” Jesus knew that the wind of God would fill the hearts of these ordinary men and send them on the ride of their life!

When it comes to watersports, I still enjoy both sailing and paddling; however, there is no better way to serve God in the ministry than to learn to hear His voice, set out on the water in obedience then move with the power of His wind!

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