Sunday, May 18, 2014

Where the Wind Blows

Carla Beard and I decided to challenge each other to write something on the same topic each week--no word limit or minimum. This was my first attempt to get myself back into the habit of writing. I will leave it to her to post her devotional about wind.

Where the Wind Blows

Comfort is nearly always found in the familiar; and if one thing is familiar to Texans, it would be the wind! From the gentlest breezes in autumn piling up dry leaves on the ground to the roaring gales of storm winds howling overhead during the spring, the winds are a constant. Whether cooling breezes off the lakes in the summer or wintery blasts carrying ice shards through the air, the wind is an accepted factor of living. Hummingbirds, butterflies, or flying seed pods of milk weed and dandelion, all these take turns tumbling with the vagaries of the winds. Dust brought from the flat lands of the Texas Panhandle coat the plains of Central Texas, while the pollution of the larger cities is whisked from the air by that same broom so that the wind is both a charming house keeper and a drying blast sucking up the moisture needed for growth in the fields. No amount of contempt will allow a Texan to take the wind for granted, no matter how familiar its patterns might seem.

Assigning the wind a personality purely based on a skewed perspective, most of mankind alternately consider the wind either a foe or an indentured servant. Modern Don Quixotes have built windmills in the form of wind farms to harness the forces seemingly ever present; yet despite whacking birds and drying some of the moisture from the air, these wind turbines have no more real effect on the winds than the sails of the schooners on the high seas had back when men were more helplessly dependent in their scuttling over the face of the deep. The wind is not some insidious power against which injustice can be claimed—despite the hurricanes, cyclones, and tornadoes; it simply moves across the face of the earth from corner to corner. However much man may attempt to change one form of energy into another, he may never really change or hold back that which God has put into play in His creation. Unlike the Spirit of God that hovered over the face of the waters, man’s tracks on the seas—just like his tracks through the skies--are washed away as quickly as the next wave or the next current of air. Something about the wind provides perspective like nothing else. Even in Texas, our size, our worth, all our imaginings compare as nothing when that sudden sound “as a mighty rushing wind” fills our hearts and minds.

When our most creative minds attempt to paint the wind or describe its effects, they may portray a whisper among the flowers and grasses or the swaying or twisting of trees to some degree of bending acquiesce. The mood of a narrative may be brought unforgettably to mind with the description of wind and its effects upon the landscape. Belligerent resistance to wind, as in Wuthering Heights, or protective escape from its grip quite often remind a reader of experiences common to anyone able to participate in what is referred to as weather. Just like the house in Wuthering Heights, which had to be strong to stand against the wind, the Bronté characters who loved the moors had to be strong and independent. But that same wind twisted trees and characters alike over time. When a non-fictional wind blows--the Chinook stirring from the southwest of Canada or the Zephyr blowing across Texas, those in the paths of these winds either must submit or resist—or at the very least, take cover!

Just like many other powers seen and felt but never truly understood—among them light, love, dreams, and even sleep—the wind seems surely eternal and immutable. Hardly does the wind ever cease its movements. In fact, that sudden calm before the storm or a lull in the wind generally creates a discomforting expectation among man and beast alike. Perhaps some ingrained sense warns that only a divine intervention can constrain a compulsion created for constant movement. But truly the wind will cease to blow one day for a time “for four angels will hold the four winds of the earth that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.” Like any of the creative acts of God, the sudden observable beginning or cessation among the elements of nature becomes a sign to mankind.  Unsettling possibilities of the unfamiliar need not be cause for concern, however, because the Creator knows the end from the beginning—for man and for all of creation—not just in Texas, but to the ends of the earth.

What color the wind? What message to send?
Directed power? Who measures its hour?
Lifting wings as the cardinal sings, Fairy skirting to leafy wings,
Scooping out cliffs grain by grain, Moving mists or driving rain,
Sweeping mountains or dusty plain, Driving waves over the main—
By no man’s bridle or harness ridden—
Only to His voice wind is bidden—
Questions unnecessary, time erased with a spirit unfearing—
Wild winds carry the Word of His sudden appearing!

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