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The Spirit and the dipper

Sailing is something that I fell in love with at an early age. Being born in Pierre (phonetically pronounced peer) South Dakota I was blessed to spend hours on Lake Oahe and the Missouri river from almost birth. My parents purchased a 1983 Cal 24 when I was four years old so that our family could go on overnight sailing adventures.

Since every good sailboat needs a name they named it the Big Dipper. When I asked my dad about the name he informed me that he could always make it back to their slip at night by using the Big Dipper constellation as navigational beacon. Two years ago my dad gifted The Dipper to my family so that we could enjoy it on the beautiful waters of Gull Lake. Not everyone is a fan of sailing and that is okay. I have found that most people who do not understand sailing or have never really experienced the joy and power of sailing are the ones who condemn the sailing community.

My love for sailing is fueled by the mystery and power of the wind. A sailboat has the ability to harness something that we cannot see and use to propel itself and its occupants on a wonderful journey. Sure you can see the affects of the wind and where the wind is, but we never get to actually see the wind itself. When the wind is really blowing and you are able to dial in all of the elements on the boat so that you are really cruising it is a feeling like I cannot explain. For some, like my 7 year old son, it is terrifying and can cripple him with fear. For people like myself, the good doctor, P.T., and others it is exhilarating to the point of always chasing the next big wind.

In the same way, the Holy Spirit is something we cannot see directly but experience on a daily basis. Sure we can see the Spirit moving in and around us, but we never see the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit is moving in our life we experience times of rushing excitement and joy that we cannot seem to get enough of while others are left terrified of the power and the outcome if they truly embrace a Spirit filled life. I have been teaching a class this month on the Spirit and have come to realize more than ever the power and complexity that comes with trying to understand the Holy Spirit. Throughout the history of the American church we have neglected the Spirit because of the complexity of terms, the mystery of the trinity, and the undeniable power that is found within the third person of the trinity to our own detriment. That can and is changing though.

The Spirit is moving in a real and powerful way. The work of the Spirit is changing and transforming lives all around you and one of those lives could be your own. Just like we tell our son during particularly windy times, “What is the worst thing that could happen if the boat tips?” His trained response, “I will get wet!” In a similar way, what is the worst thing that could happen if you yield to the Holy Spirit’s movement in your life and harness that power to impact those around you?