Welcome to Living Contentment Weekly. Here are your three contentment-related thoughts for today. Something for you to: read | do | pray
For thousands of years, rowing or sailing were the two basic ways to travel across the water. My guess is you still run your inner life – probably your spiritual life – in one of these ways.
Rowing uses your own power and relies on your strength. But at least you’re in control. The relation between effort and speed is pretty direct and clear. Try harder –> go faster. The biggest problem of course is that you have only so much energy in you to give.
Sailing relies on an outside power, that you harness, not create. You have to rely on the wind. If it dies down you go nowhere. If the wind picks up speed, so do you. You can adjust for the wind, keep moving in light wind, and do things to slow down in strong wind – but either way, you are being driven by something outside of your control. And of course, that means you don’t use up your energy. The wind can in theory keep going forever, as can the boat.
After the miraculous feeding of the five thousand next to the Sea of Galilee, Jesus heads off to pray by himself and the disciples head home across the water. John specifically mentions how they moved:
They were using their energy and strength to get across that massive lake. This is interesting because in the verse before John points out:
They were rowing because they were going against the wind, Matthew specifically points out that the disciple’s boat was being “…beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them.” (Matt 14:24)
They were rowing, but Jesus was strolling. They were working against the wind, which makes tough work.
We’re going to spend a number of weeks looking at God’s Spirit and similarities to breath, and wind.
Today’s takeaway is merely to remember how much effort it is to work against – not with – God’s Spirit.
Can you think of a time in your life when you truly sensed God wanted you to move in a particular direction -and you went the other way? How did that feel? How did it turn out?
What about the opposite? When you’ve moved WITH the Spirit of God – how did that feel?
Your Spirit is active and living,
with power and direction.
Give me the wisdom to not go against that.
I will very quickly run out of energy rowing against you,
instead of letting you fill the sails of my life.
Let me see where you want me to go,
in the small everyday choices of life,
as well as the big.
Fill me with your Spirit,
for I can’t do what you have called me to do
on my own.
Talk to you next Thursday!